by Abbie Galvin

August 6th 2012

What's at issue isn't merely the feet but the whole body, as revealed through the structure and form of the feet. The feet are like the bottom floor of the building, or part of the root system of a plant whose identity is contained within its seed and then repeated all the way through it.

The body's pattern can be seen in the arch of the foot in particular, because the arch of the foot, shaped like a wave in the ocean, repeats that same arc in a module throughout the body. It matches the arch in the back of the knee, the lower back, the perineum, the shape of the elbow, the back of the neck, your palate, the arch of your spine, even the arch of your armpit! This pattern, the crest and fall of this wave, is like your personal thumbprint, and a roadmap of sorts to your true and personal propensities.

According to Taoist teaching, the height of the arches in the feet indicates the nature of your alertness, awareness, and acuity of hearing. Flat feet reveal a person with less stamina and less acuity in their nature, but calmer and less excitable. Similarly, calluses can tell us where that person takes the psychic "hit." If a callous is found in the heel of the foot, are you too hard on yourself, or do you dig your heels in? If the callous is in the ball of the foot do you work too hard in the upper body, demanding too much out of your competency and overworking the lungs? If it is in the big toe, the question could be asked do you worry too much or are you trying to cope by keeping your head above water?

The foot is a concentration of the somatic whole. When we look at your feet, we know from their curves where you are is well-adjusted and where you need support, better bounce, more fullness, better contact,  which all give you higher function and more joy. To change your feet means to change your self, and to move from being flat to being buoyant, from having calm waters to a wave with a richer crescendo.

To engage in a dialogue with your feet, begin by sitting in Virasana, the virility pose, which is designed to build up an arch that is too low and to break down an arch that is unnaturally hiked up. Sit at a right angle, centered on the perineum, so that your lungs are available in the front and your adrenals are free in the back, with your feet hugging the sides of your hips. In this way you will begin the process of flushing your hips, knees and your ankles while fully engaging your feet.   

While we are considering the feet, you may actually begin anywhere in the body, and through an imaginative and conscious practice move your personal information into the archetypal form.  This practice will eventually lead to personal transformation.