Thursday, July 22, 2010

Something they’re not.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment" -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Look at your feet. You’ll probably find five toes on the left foot and five toes on the right. Wiggle those digits and spread them wide. It might feel liberating or it might feel a bit straining (especially if you haven’t stretched your toes in a while). Now, appreciate the design of your body; there is an intention for how we are made. Our toes, each significant, separate to allow us to grip the ground, spring our bodies into motion, and help us stand still and straight. 

However, whether for fashion, fitness, hygiene or comfort, we put our feet into shoes forcing our toes to squeeze in and act as one unit. Something they’re not.

We don’t wear one-legged pants or shirts with no sleeves, so why would we put our feet in one tube? How inhibiting is that? It’s time to think differently about what we put on our feet.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Are toe socks better for your feet?

YES. And now let me explain.

Sure, they feel a little weird when you first put them on…but in that ‘weirdness’ lies the magic. Your toes are spreading. I know, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But think about it - wearing regular athletic socks draws the toes together, making them act as one unit. The purpose of the toes is to spread and anchor to the floor to help the body balance and stay aligned. By restricting this natural movement, you are inhibiting the body’s design and function. When toes spread, blood circulation increases and other muscles are activated.

The human foot is a remarkably well-design instrument with 26 bones, 33 joints, 20 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments.  The action of spreading the toes signals the shins, which signal the thighs, hips, and back. The smaller foot muscles, like the abductors, are commonly atrophied due to lack of use. When the toes spread out, these small muscles are used and strengthened, promoting foot health, cell renewal, and full-body support.

Toe socks are exercise for your feet even while wearing shoes.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thank you pinky toe! Small and powerful.

How the pinky toe can change your body and spiritual mindedness.

Anusara Yoga Instructor, Elizabeth Goodman, takes an intricate look at The Svadharma of the Pinky Toe. She inspects the duty or calling of this tiny phalange. The little guy on the end that may fall under the neighboring toe, or have such a tiny nail that polish can barely hang on, or it sticks out of your shoes or scrunches in to fit in a pair of shoes:

The pinky toes are homely looking things, they do not fit well into most women’s shoes, they rather painfully bump into things, and they are hard to move independently.  They are not essential for living and do not have the emotional charge of the heart and brain, the exquisite connection to the world of the sense organs, or the connection to life itself of the lungs.

The point is, that this little pinky toe has the ability to change the whole body.As she continues with:

Despite this, the call to lift and spread the toes, to draw the pinky toe toward the heel, or the hip happens just about every time I go to the mat in my practice or teach a class.  Activating the pinky toe by opening it and spreading it apart from the other toes is a conscious act of opening that helps hug the shins to the midline.  In hugging the shins in by means of activating the pinky toe, the yogi on the mat can then safely move the thighs back and apart, creating an expansion of the pelvic floor that provides room for more strongly tucking under the tailbone to access core power. 

It’s a great reminder of the function and form of the human body. And upon greater examination, the pinky toe’s power is a great lesson for life off our yoga mats: 

Off the mat, when all parts of the whole are fully conscious of and know their svadharma, the whole will itself have more consciousness, more light, and better experience the bliss of being.  It is easy to see, without judgment or question, that the pinky toe cannot do the work of the heart, although when the pinky toe is working it can help contribute to an integration of mind and body that will further the opening of the heart and thus the whole person.

Stretch out so you can hug in. Thank you pinky toe!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Free Feet. A Free Mind?

Is there a link between going barefoot and your state of mind? Can it be true that when our feet are out of shoes, we feel more relaxed? Or perhaps, we have greater potential to feel more relaxed, more free? 

We’ve known there are benefits to going barefoot. With proof being that’s how we are naturally. We aren’t born with shoes on. But now there’s a surprising amount of research and information supporting this concept - barefeet are best.

An article on the benefits of going barefoot highlights several reasons, including that "It’s Just More Relaxing"

"Going barefoot really puts you in a different sort of mindset, and is usually only reserved for those special, relaxing moments.

Think about when you tend to go barefoot — at the beach, at home on the carpet, walking on cool grass in the summer, — and you’ll get an idea of what we mean. Exercises geared toward strengthening the body and relaxing the mind (yoga, tai chi, martial arts) are also typically practiced barefoot.”

So while free feet could lead to a free mind, it may not be easy for this new-found free mind to let go of the mental notations that dirt, germs and fungus rest under our bare feet. We suggest toe socks to give you the hygienic protection you need while gaining the benefits of barefooted foot freedom that we all deserve.

Monday, June 7, 2010

One Egg. Infinite Possibilities.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Aw Natural

With the devastation lurking in the waters of the Gulf Coast, we may find ourselves feeling uneasy, sad, restless…with the thought: What can I do?

A couple ideas to get us less dependent on crude oil:

When tragedy is great, sometimes it just takes one small step in the right direction, multiply that by a billion and imagine…there would be a huge impact of hope, relief and good.

We can each do our part. And with that said, our sincerest thoughts and most hopeful wishes go out to Mother Nature and all her creatures.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dirt and Germs

You walk into the studio and remove your shoes. Now what? Your barefeet have touched the floor. We tell ourselves they clean the floor. While this is probably true - to what extent do they clean them and how often? And what about everyone else’s feet? Are they clean? Do they have a foot fungus they aren’t aware of? We override these concerns and head to class where we sweat, drip, move to the floor, on/off the mat, and all around the equipment. Dirt and germs are lurking. Let’s face this fact and now do something about it.

A 2006 article in the New York Times, Communal Yoga Mats: Beware of Germs, discusses communal mats, yoga and the rise of foot health issues. Tidbits include:

"Gyms have long been hothouses for unwanted viruses, fungi and bacteria, a result of shared equipment, excessive sweat and moisture in locker rooms. Many facilities provide disinfectant so clients can wipe down machinery, but they are often less diligent when it comes to exercise mats. It’s common to see staff members clean a stationary bike. It’s rare to see them disinfect a mat."

"Representatives at most of the 10 gyms and studios that a reporter called nationwide said that they aim to clean mats thoroughly once a week."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

GrowFit Studio

Awesome feedback from a ToeSox fan and wanted to share what she does…please check out GrowFit Studio.

Deborah Newman writes:
I’m so excited to announce the release of my first video “GrowFit with the Ball”!  Thank you for your support with ToeSox!  I think you’ll be pleased with the cues that point out how ToeSox provide stability without the bulk of sneakers.  Very comforting especially for people new to exercising on a ball.   I’ve had such a great response already.  I’ve sent two copies to you in today’s mail.  I hope you enjoy them.  Take a look at the trailer on my website. You’ll see the click through to ToeSox too.

What makes my video so unique is the presentation of beginner exercises, adding challenges to create a moderate-to-advanced level program that is do-able and enjoyable by women of all ages and abilities.  I also emphasize the message that “when you keep at it everyday, little healthy habits will grow into healthy results!”

Breathe deep and smile,
Deborah Newman

Thanks Deborah!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March. March. March.

The month comes to an end. We’re officially into Spring. Wonderful, glorious Spring! The days get longer as the sun hangs out in the sky. Energy shifts. We often feel anxious, excited, happy…we want to move. And when you do…think about what you wear on your feet.

During the colder months we hibernate our feet into closed toe shoes and boots - keeping them warm. By doing this, we bind our toes keeping them from their natural state - wiggly, spreading, happy. Wearing five toe socks helps your toes and feet strengthen by improving blood circulation. It’s like exercise for your feet - even when they are in shoes.

So march, march, march to A FOOT REVOLUTION and check out