Your feet, that is. Why? Our feet are our base and if they are not lined up, then it's going to jack up everything above it. Think about your car's alignment. If the wheels are not in alignment what it going to happen to the rest of the car? Well, I'm no car expert, but I'm pretty sure if the wheels are not aligned than the rest of the car is going to break down and the wear and tear is going to happen a lot quicker. I think people kind of look at me funny when I have them do foot exercises for/during pregnancy or postpartum. But it's YOUR BASE. We can try and fix other things, but if your alignment is not optimal starting at your foundation, than other stuff is not going to do you as much good. And remember? I'm lazy... or I guess the word is BUSY. I don't want to do something unless it's going to give me the optimal amount of benefit. Mama AINT GOT TIME.
Okay, you say, point my feet straight ahead. That's easy enough. But, can you do it all the time? While walking, while standing? What happens to your feet when you're not thinking about it? Check in with it!!
And, lots of us (myself included for a long time!) THINK we're pointing our feet forward, but actually we're pointing our toes forward. And our toes are attached to our feet, but they are subjective and based upon... you guessed it.... where they are placed most of the time. If they're placed in a pointy toe shoe most of the time, they'll probably start to look like a pointy shoe. Have you ever seen someone's feet who spent most of their life in tight shoes of a certain shape? It's amazing that their feet are actually a different shape! Our feet are designed to be wide, our toes are designed to spread. To lift. To be as mobile as our hands. But we've put them in casts, so to speak, for our whole lives. From the time our parents strapped on our first pair of "supportive" walking shoes.
But alas... this is not a post on foot mobility (but I should write one!). This is a post on foot position. SO.... tell me what you see in this photo:
Yes, it does look pretty good, but alignment is not about appearance. That's why we don't call it "posture." Because posture is about what we look like, alignment is about what our body is actually doing. It seems like a semantics thing, but it's really not. It's a totally different thing.
The anatomical markers for feet pointing straight ahead are the head of the 5th metatarsal (base of the pinky toe) and the lateral malleolus (bony knob sticking out the side of your ankle). The position of our toes are subjective, as I explained a bit above. So is judging by the inside of the foot, You can see in the photo above that it looks ike my right foot is ESPECIALLY lines up correctly, eh? Because you can see through the line on the hardwood floor that it's pointing straight ahead and lined up with the baseboard perfectly. BUT when you look at the anatomical markers take a look at what happens:
I was going to maybe draw on the photos that you guys posted on Facebook, but I decided that you can check in with them and see what you think. But, I did not see any aligned feet! I will tell you that this is one of my big struggles, especially my right foot. Like I've said, our body adapts to the way we are, most of the time. For me, it's a constant check in and I'm also addressing the way my body has adapted to turning out for so long via Restorative Exercise. So that I don't get foot, knee, hip... everything problems!! Fixing our feet can help us all the way up to our head!!
Mama Aligned is Lindsay McCoy.