Setting the Foundation
This first entry relates to establishing a physical foundation: how we set initial contact of any part of the body with the ground. Usually that means hands and feet. How you place these will determine the quality of your foundation and lay the basis for optimal alignment.
As a yoga teacher, I find that most people are unaware of how they stand or where their body is within space.
Sometimes showing up to yoga class is an opportunity to “check out”, follow the music or the people around: the body may be present but the mind is somewhere else. To get the most out of your yoga practice, the mind needs to pay attention and become aware of what your body is doing, how it's doing it, and the effect that is having in your body.
Sometimes this form of inattention simply means that we need to slow down.
Practicing good alignment also sets a powerful and clear intention for your yoga practice: to be present and pay attention to detail. This approach to your hatha yoga practice not only will strengthen your body but also sharpen your mind. In this way, your practice become meditation in action.
Step #1: Align Your Feet
In any standing posture, how you place your feet is the most basic way you can create a strong and steady posture.
How to Align the Feet:
Place your feet hip distance apart. Weight should be equally balanced through the four corners of the feet:
To make the feet parallel, first trace two imaginary lines running from the center of the front of the ankles to the middle of the second toes. Then adjust the feet so that as you look down on them, these two lines are parallel.
Learn and practice this basic alignment to strengthen your and allow you get more from your yoga practice.
Author & Art by Kanta Barrios