Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday Stretch For Sewists #10 Toes

Bernie Clark says in his book that there is an old Daoist saying, "A person with open toes has an open mind."

The feet is the first place we start to age, so putting some tension on our toes or our ankles, arches, balls of the feet or tops of the feet is good.  Long hours with one foot on a sewing machine pedal, or standing at a longarm, can mean your toes, feet and ankles will love this massage, but go easy.

Ankle Stretch and Toe Squat
Start with Ankle Stretch by coming to sit in Japanese sitting position, bum resting on your heels.

If this won't work for your knee health, then sit on a block or a cushion that is between your feet, or put a rolled up towel acros the calves and behind the knee joint which helps to decrease the bend in the joint.  Begin with the tops of your feet resting on the floor (blanket or yoga mat).  Relax here, finding your breath, pulling it in through the rings of your nostrils, tracing its path up your nose, down your throat, into your lungs and back out that same pathway, counting to 2 or 3 or 4, slowly on the inhale and same slow steady count on the exhale.  This is called a yogic breath.  While steadily breathing, notice a tug along the tops of your quads maybe, in the front of the ankles as they press into the mat, more so with your weight on your feet.  You may feel the top side of the toes as they too, press into the mat.

In the beginning, you don't want to stay here very long, maybe 30-60 seconds.

Come out by coming forward onto all fours, and staying still while you enjoy the 'ahhh' release as the blood rushes into those areas where you were feeling tension.

Next, go into Toe Squat from all fours simply by tucking your toes under, and raising your body to an upright position.  Depending on your toes' and ankles' health and flexibility, you may need to stay on, or mostly on, all fours for the first several times you do this.
Ease back onto those toes, trying to get all five on each foot in contact with your mat.  Enjoy :-) the tension and tug on the arches, every toe, the ball of the foot and even through the ankle.  Hold for 30-60 seconds, but eventually work up to 2-3 minutes.

You can juice each of these poses up, but do it slowly and mindfully, never forcing or going into pain.  You just want a tension, or tugging, a traction hold, kind of feeling.
For Ankle Stretch, lean back onto your hands, lifting one knee at a time, or both together.
This is very strong through the tops of the feet and the ankles, so don't hold it for very long in the beginning, maybe just a minute maximum.

For Toe Squat, see if you can balance on your toes.
Just a few minutes maybe twice a week, and you will notice a little more freedom of movement through your feet which should lead to a happier you!

Here is my work so far this holiday weekend in both Canada (July 1, Canada Day) and the US (July 4, Independence Day):
A flimsy finished, another Better At The Lake project for the Henry Glass Fabrics Desire to Inspire Challenge
If you didn't see my previous post, then here is a link to the Henry Glass Fabrics blog, where I revealed the projects I had completed (well, the above quilt was still on the design wall!) for the challenge for June.  There is a giveaway of two small projects, so be sure to enter on their blog for it!  I do have the backing pieced and hope to quilt this up this afternoon.

Oh, and as a small nod to Sunday Stash, here is a fabric I picked up to make some summer pj shorts for the best grandson in the world:
Too adorable!  He loves Minions, and with his English roots on my side of the family, I could not resist!


  1. More than anything, I am amazed at how delicate my balance is when I am in toe balance. I love this series as it always prompts me to do something wonderful for my body!

  2. This is good timing for me as my feet are definitely causing me pain. I haven't had enough time to pay attention to many things lately, and perhaps this is my sign. Thanks for the ideas you've given us, and how to listen more to our bodies.

  3. Beautiful quilt!!! Awwww Brady will LOVE those jammies!!! Too funny! Mum's roots reflected in a minion's eyes!

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  5. Love the stretches.... hope you have enjoyed your holiday weekend Sandra. I loved the work you did for the Henry Glass challenge😀 and wow the minion fabric, brill. Xx

  6. Those minions will make great pj shorts.

  7. This stretch looks good, too! That one for the shoulders has been a lifesaver! I'm loving this last quilt for the Henry Glass challenge. So much so, I'm going to bookmark it and revisit it later! XO