If you’ve attended any of my workshops or taken lessons with me, you know I am a big fan of being barefoot and will expound on walking as one of the best forms of movement there is – our bodies are built to walk and walk and walk.
Our feet have 100 muscles, 33 joints and 26 bones in them! When you are wearing shoes and walking (or standing to perform), those elements are largely immobilized. When we don’t use parts of our body they don’t work as well as they can. Weak feet can send shockwaves up your body contributing to all kinds of issues up the chain.
But, most of us live in urban and suburban settings so walking barefoot is a nice concept, but walking barefoot on hard, even surfaces doesn’t feel good and doesn’t exactly challenge the feet well either.
So, what’s a singer to do?
Find a yard or a park, or a beach and take your shoes off and walk!
Now that it is summer in the Northeast, my kids love to play outside after dinner. We head out for them to ride big wheels or play ball and I tend to kick my shoes off and spend time walking barefoot in our yard.
I took the above shot last night as I began my yard circuit. While I walked I felt my feet stretch and awaken from the day. Even my calves got a bit of work because I was barefoot. The surface of our yard is soft but uneven. There are bumps, uphills and downhills so all the bones, muscles and joints got to maneuver around.
If you are new to being barefoot you want to go slowly, adding in barefoot time in small increments while doing some work on your feet.
The beach is another great place to explore barefoot walking. We tend to go in February, when my feet are used to being in boots to stay warm and dry. I’m always so happy to be somewhere warm in the depths of winter that it is easy for me to overdo things the first day. Walking on sand means a very changeable surface for the feet (shells give you some added texture – which is great for all the sensory nerves in your feet). It isn’t uncommon for me to wake up the next day with sore feet and calves, but after a week of beach walks, my feet feel amazing and whole body is happier.
To read more about the feet, check out this post: Align Body and Voice: The Feet.
If you are ready to move your feet and the rest of your body more, check out the Take Ten Program, designed to introduce small amounts of movement into your day through 10 minute videos.
(Extra bonus points if you can name the composer of the song referenced in the blog post title!)