February: Movement of the Month

Feb 21, 2020 | Blog

Movement of the Month. Photo Courtesy of Cere DeMuth

 *** EMBODIED WISDOM is postponed until the Fall. See you this Weekend for our regular class schedule. Saturday 9am. Sunday 10am. ***

 As a follow-up to last months movement of the month (click here to read that article) we continue with the theme of VARIETY in our movement patterns. When we move more parts of ourselves more often we get stronger and more mobile. When we feel stronger and flexible, we tend to feel more energy and confidence. When we are more confident in our bodies we tend to want to move more. The positive feedback loop is created and we feel better in our bodies and minds as a benefit.  

Let’s consider how moving more parts of ourselves is adding more variety to our movement diet. Simple example: when is the last time you moved your big toe on its own? When is the last time you spread your toes away from one another? When is the last time the top of your foot was on the ground? Let me guess, never or its been a long time, or the last time when you were in a class at ALTAR?

Adding VARIETY into your weekly movement routine can be as simple as that. Asking your feet to move in all the ways they can move. If we don’t move the 33 joints and over 100 muscles tendons and ligaments found in our feet, we are setting ourselves up for suffering in the future or in the now. “This is why stiff, painful, under-moved feet are the first body part you should start moving better if you’re finding your other parts – like knees and hips – difficult to move.” – From the book Dynamic Aging by Katy BowmanWhen it comes to adding variety into our movement patterns we always recommend beginning with the feet because most likely they are not being moved in all the ways they can be moving. 

“It’s much more likely that your feet feel weak and stiff because you’ve spent a lifetime not using the muscles within them than it is your feet are weak and stiff solely due to age.”

So, let’s get those toes and ankles moving. Introducing the “top of the foot stretch.” You can practice this movement in a chair, standing, seated on the floor and even in downward facing dog. Let’s have a look. (see image below)


It stretches the muscles of your toes, foot and ankle in one movement, yay simplicity! From standing or sitting near the front edge of a chair, reach your right foot behind, tucking the toes under. 

Bring your chest and hips back so they stack over your non-stretching foot.
To make the front foot stretch less, shorten the distance you’ve reached the leg back.
Repeat on the left side.
Practice this daily. 15-30 seconds at a time is perfect.

When I committed to a daily practice of this I choose shower time as my top of the foot stretch time. It’s fun to find a time when you can stack this into your day. I have had a few clients add this to their brushing their teeth time. When can you sneak this excellent stretch in? 

Want more movement inspiration, read this book “Dynamic Aging.” Find it here.

Did you miss last weeks article on all the fabulous opportunities to move and groove together? Read more here. 

I look forward to the continued journey together.

With movement inspiration,