“Are your toes feeling playful?”
I’ve gotten used to that question from my wonderful yoga teacher Angela. She usually asks it when we are in a standing pose. When we are feeling tentative in the pose, people have a tendency to grip with the toes instead of using the whole rest of the body to find balance, easy, buoyancy, and stability. With that question, I find myself lifting and wiggling my toes, and then spreading awareness through my feet, legs, core, shoulders, neck and the top of my head. This is a wonderful mindfulness training!
And when we are in many other poses, she will remind us to spread our toes. It’s amazing to find how I crimp them together, another unconscious way of holding tension. This is such a simple way to connect my head, heart and body, so I can be more fully present, not simply living in my thoughts.
Last week Angela commented that since our toes do not have the dexterity and abilities of our fingers, playfulness is an important contribution our toes make to our experience. Isn’t that a fun way to think about toes?
When I painted my toenails blue a few summers ago it became an easy way to remember to enjoy my playful toes. For many of us, our toes are about to be liberated from the socks and shoes of winter. Mine can hardly wait!
And so I ask you now: “are your toes feeling playful?”