How many times in a yoga class have you heard; ground down, press down, feel, activate, stand down in ~ the 4 corners of your feet?
This is a very Yoga based cue as the practice requires that the weight be distributed evenly through the feet in order to draw upon and transfer energy through the whole body.
First, lets consider the function of the feet. It will help make a little more sense why Yoga teachers are relentlessly cueing this and the persistent pressing down throughout the whole practice is so vital.
Stand our ground
Our main mode of transportation
Sport and other activities - Running, cycling, jumping, hiking, football, rugby, long jump.
Energetically what this means is;
Our feet is our connection to the earth
How we ground ourselves
How connected and tall we stand
How balanced we are
How much power and strength we can cultivate & develop
On the Yoga Mat we use this 4 corner | earth connection to;
The earth! Taking your shoes off allows yogis to awaken and connect to their senses.
Build awareness through the whole body ~ our organic information system.
Balance our imbalances ~ For instance; those that are right side dominant because of sports etc. Find that a Yoga Practice which does not discriminate left and right will only lead to more harmony (better balance) in both sides of the body.
To get centred ~ ie. to bring busy, scattered, all over the place energy down to the ground.
Secondly, it would be really helpful to know,where are the four corners of the feet?
The four corners of the feet are:
The ball of the foot | the base mound of the big toe.
The outer ball of the foot | the base mound of the little toe.
Feel your footprint bright and firm keeping the toes relaxed. | Notice | Feel | Create a lift in the arch of the foot.
If you have flat feet (Lift your toes a little more and dig those 4 corners in), working the 4 corners of your feet will prove to be the best and most effective way to rebuild strength and improve the overall function of the feet.
This is also another good reason why wearing no shoes if your practice is so purposeful and efficient at rebuilding and improving the communication of muscles.