Anatomy Meditation: 4 Corners of the Feet
Through July 5, 2020
Sitting comfortably, take one of your feet and begin to massage.
Each foot has bony landmarks. These places are intersections of gravity and levity, weight and sensation.
You could massage the:
1 "Mound of the Big Toe" (ball of Big Toe, top and bottom of foot)
2 "Mound of the Little Toe" (ball of little toe, top and bottom)
3 "Inner Heel"
4 "Outer Heel" (and around the back of the heel)
Also shake the foot, "unglue-ing the foot and ankle", and/or gently massage the ankle by spiraling (rotating) the foot. Then come to standing
to study the newly massaged foot, or go on to the other foot and repeat the 4 Corners Massage.
Then come to standing, feeling each "corner of the foot" individually and together as a network of sensation. These "footers" are stable and mobile. Feel the diversity of sensation available to you through the bio-design of the 26 bones and connective tissue of the feet.
Your feet could be considered a sense organ of connection with the earth, a kind-of "synapse" or place of information exchange of your nervous system with the ground.
These bony landmarks are intersection centers for the arches of the feet.
In both feet, you could massage the:
Medial Arch (Inner Arch) of the foot, following from inner heel to
Mound of Big Toe.
Lateral Arch of the foot, following the Mound of Ball of Little Toe to the outer heel.
A Transverse Arch spans the "roots of the toes", from Mound of the Big Toe
to the Mound of the Little Toe, and back again.
Then come to standing, feeling each Arch individually and together as a network of sensation. Feel the mobility and stability a consciousness of the arches bring to the feet as a part of your nervous system experience.
You have a "Heel Foot" (tangerine colored bones) and you have an "Ankle Foot" (orange colored bones) in the anatomy study below.
The Heel Foot comprises the 4th and 5th toe, the outside, flatter Lateral Arch, and your substantial heel bone (calcaneus). The Heel Foot is connected to the Fibula of the lateral lower leg. You can easily trace this connection with your hands, along the later knee, the IT band, and around to the sacrum if you wish. The Heel Foot stabilizes the "Back Body". If you lean back on your heels, you will feel the "back body" activate, tense, or condenses if you like that term.
The Ankle Foot comprises the Big Toe, 2nd Toe, and 3rd Toe, the larger Medial (Inner) Arch, and the inner ankle (condoyle) bones. The arch of the top of the foot is made from this cluster of support. This part of the foot connects to the Tibia of the medial and front of the lower leg (shin bone).
The Ankle Front stabilzes the "Front Body". When you come up on your toes, pushing the balls of the feet into the earth, the front body activates, tenses, condenses. The Big Toe and the front of the Pelvis, the Pubic Bone and adjacent bones, are stabilized by the Big Toe-to-Earth connection.
The "slide and glide" movement of the ankle is comprised of structures within the "Ankle Foot"; the "talus" is the bone the Tibia connects to, flowing the weight of the body into the "delta" of the foot, spreading or "feathering" weight and force over the bones of the feet.
When we are aware of the many connective stabilization and mobilization actions of the feet, ordinary movements become extraordinary.
Informed with this anatomy study, try the Rising Rooted Asana Practice.
Coloring anatomy drawing is a somatic method for learning via body intelligence. Designers of all types draw an idea to develop a sense of proportion, function, form, and a felt-sense of the structure. Coloring does the same, as if you molded each foot bone from clay and put them together (which is another amazing way to "build" your knowledge of anatomy; try to create it yourself!). If you would like a clean printable PDF of the foot anatomy page above, click here.
Alcamo, I.E. (2003). Anatomy Coloring Workbook. 2nd Edition. Random House.
Aposhyan, S. M. (2007). Natural intelligence: Body-mind integration and human development. Now Press.
Hartley, L. (1995). Wisdom of the body moving: An introduction to body-mind centering. North Atlantic Books.