In honor of Earth Day our yoga instructor Maureen led a class that emphasized our connection to the earth. We began in Toe Squat Pose. Toe Squat is a yin pose, and like most yin poses, it looks easy but is not. Stand on your knees, tuck your toes under the balls of your feet and sit back on our heels. Keep your torso long and your gaze straight. It can be a challenge to get your weight out of your toes and on to the balls of your feet. Tuck all your toes – including the pinky toe – flat on the mat. Sit for three to five minutes.
Modifications include putting a block between your heels and your bum or placing a block on either side of your hips and putting some arm weight on the blocks. Either modification relieves pressure in the balls of your feet and your toes.
Toe Squat taps into two related energy systems of yoga. First, it activates all six energy meridians that go through the feet and release energy through the toes, the liver, gall bladder, kidney, urinary bladder, spleen, and stomach meridians. Second, Toe Squat triggers the feet chakras.
Our feet contain many minor chakras, but there are seven specific energy points that correspond to the seven main chakras that run from the base of our pelvis to the top of our head. These chakras are the conduits between the energy of the earth and the energy of our bodies. They run from the base of our heel (Root), along the inner ridge of our arch (Sacral, Solar Plexus), to the bottom edge of the ball of our foot (Heart), across the ball of our foot (Throat), to the base of our big toe (Third Eye), and the top of our big toe (Crown). The foot chakras are organized in a semi-circular pattern around our instep. When we put our heels and toes together, we join the seven charkas of each foot into a full circle.
When I assumed Toe Squat I noticed increased connection to my breath, which is consistent with the high pressure this pose sends through the foot chakra that corresponds with the throat.
If you would like a more relaxing way to stimulate the foot chakras, I recommend the massage described in this video. How to Give a Wonderful Reflex Foot Rub