TURN YOUR FEET IN

We thought it would be appropriate and helpful to let you in on the backstory of our bossy Yoga Mechanics mugs. What do we mean by turn your feet in? Even more importantly, why are we demanding that you turn your feet in as you sip your coffee?

When we say “turn your feet in” we actually need to be more specific. In fact, some of you, may need to turn your feet out (next version of the mug will be, turn your feet forward, —stay tuned.) You see, your feet have rules: the way the bones are put together, the way the ligaments wrap the foot and the way muscles articulate is anything but random. There are mechanics here and as you know, we love our mechanics, so let’s jump in.

The feet have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in response to our environment. Your feet are inherently built to be the coolest cross-over vehicles on the market. The architecture of the foot is 7 tarsal bones, 5 metatarsals and 14 phalanges. Totaling each foot with a whopping 26 bones. What do you think that allows? Go ahead think about it. Take a sip of coffee, it helps :). Adaptability? Dexterity? Mobility? Yes. Yes. Yes.

The feet work best when they point straight forward and can articulate in this way, but optimal usage is not usual usage. The environment we live in has pressure and mass and force. These variables are excluded in the idea of kinematics (kinematics is the way we describe the machinery of the joints, or the body WITHOUT adding in the ever-present factors of applied force) and they absolutely matter when we begin to look at our own body machines. When you look down at your feet are they facing forward? When you walk are they facing forward? Or do they splay out or point too far in? The way we have been using our feet may not actually be the most effective use of the machinery we have been given. On top of that, the culture affects our relationship to our body, too. The shoes that are hip and cool rarely have our best anatomical interest in mind. Fashion first and then function never?

As teachers, the first we thing we look at in class are your hands and feet. We might just sound like repetitive nags but when we say turn your feet in, or forward, we are really saying, “here is a better position for your feet, let’s give it a try”. Now, let’s be VERY Clear, this is overly simplified because every body has specificity, but it is a great start. If you are not used to this, it could take years of retraining the positioning of your feet. Our current patterns have taken a whole lifetime to make and although it may seem insurmountable, changing that one step at a time has proven to be successful, it just takes reminding. So, to be as helpful as we can in your pursuit for structural health and longevity of your awesome body we thought we would remind you on a coffee cup! It serves as a reminder that at least once a day when you look down and remember to turn your feet forward that you are honoring the very cool body you inhabit.

Enjoy your coffee. Oh — and turn your feet forward!