Barefoot backcare is the title of my new blog. And possibly the evolving future name of my back care yoga classes, or perhaps just an alternate name that I like the sound of. At one time I was a yoga purist, not that I taught all of the limbs of yoga, in that I didn't care for fusion classes where yoga was mishmashed with a lot other things. Yoga was enough, and I created yoga classes that were safe and accessible for people with everything from bulging discs, fusions, rods, stenosis and spondylolythesis, to the super common achy low back that comes and goes, or stays. Then I read Katy Bowman's "Move Your DNA" and began to learn the science behind a few ideas that I intuitively knew, yet hadn't yet realized how important they were.
Like that we need to go barefoot (and/or wear barefoot shoes, which I will talk about in a future writing excursion). Our feet were designed to naturally traverse a wide variety of textures and grades. From the time we can walk, we are put in shoes with a heel (all shoes have a heel, even sneakers-amazing, I know) which puts the foot into a slight plantar flexion (toes down position), which would be no problem, except for the shear amount of time this is the case. For most of us this means pretty much all day. Every day. And, after several decades of this, the calf muscles in our lower legs actually shorten, the front of our thighs and hips work over-time trying to stabilize this forward pitch, and the muscles on the back of the body fail to develop properly (think glut muscles). With the pelvis and spine thrown out of alignment, the back (or feet, knees, hips, shoulders, take your pick) start to hurt.
So, now I find myself in the business of researching, experimenting with, and teaching people how to use underused parts of the body for pain-free happy living. Which means employing natural movement (a lot of which yoga is) with other stuff. So I'm not a purist anymore which feels good, as it always does, to loosen the grip around a held belief, hence the more encompassing name barefoot backcare. (p.s. I really like commas, and always have.)