I’m not much one for posting gratuitous selfies, but I had to grit my teeth and post this little beauty, no photoshop my foot really is that gorgeous! A short while ago for some reason I had a good look at my feet and was horrified to see the left one was developing a bunion. How on earth could this happen? I’m not an ex dancer, which often feels like a minority in the Pilates world and I most certainly have not been squeezing my toes into a pair of Jimmy Choos. Having said that my size eleven feet are wide rather than long so for a long time my feet will have been a little squeezed in most footwear. I have blogged before about my love of barefoot shoes, one of the benefits is that the wide toe box allows your toes to spread out. This increases your proprioception, your feel for the ground and also allows for a more natural alignment. As I have a spanking new pair of bare foots that are suitable for wet surfaces I’m looking forward to an autumn of letting my toes become less co-dependant.
Its also time to put my money where my mouth is. If Pilates does change your body what can it do for your feet? I was aware of a piece of equipment called a few different names, Toe Gizmo is the one I was familiar with. It’s essentially a spring attached to a couple of loops. I had no idea how to use it though. Enter the fantastic team at pilatesanytime.com and Rachel Taylor Segel. Not only does this incredibly knowledgeable lady show you an exercise that can specifically target problems such as bunions she even shows you how to make one from ordinary household items. It’s very complicated as you can see from the attached picture.
I had to have a lie down after assembling it before I could work up to the exercises themselves. You can see for yourself how to do the exercises on this video:
So now I have put it out there I have to do the exercises a couple of hours a day and look forward to posting the results and hopefully avoiding any surgery on my toe a few years down the line.
Feet really are the foundation of our static and dynamic posture and as Rachel says in the clip, you would not expect your house to stay up with rotten foundations. You are encouraged to stand and feel how your body relates to gravity before and after the exercises and there really is a difference. A great example of how everything in the body is connected.