There are a lot of references in the Bikram dialogue to feet--"flex your toes," "grip the floor," "stand with the heels and toes touching," to say nothing of the so-called Bikram stigmata we regulars sport proudly. The feet matter, but I think they often get overlooked. I've been trying to be a little more aware of them lately.
To help with this, I've been painting my toenails, and not just because I live in San Diego and spring is pretty much already here. While I have never gotten a "mani-pedi" or been the kind of girl to spend a lot of time on hair or makeup, I spend so much time contemplating my toenails in yoga that I figured I might as well give myself something to look at.
One thing I realized after painting my nails is that the bones in my feet are changing! When I painted my toes more often last summer, the paint would get smudged if I didn't use a toe separater. And I don't have one, so that meant my toenail paint was pretty much always smudged ;-) But I painted my toes after class last night, and guess what? No smudging! I can see that my toes are pointing a little straighter. They used to be really tight in on each other, but all that floor-gripping action must be doing something!
On another note, anyone ever try Feldenkrais? My work is offering a one-hour session each week, and I tried it for the first time today. It's billed as "Awareness Through Movement," and from what I understand the sessions consist of very gentle, subtle movements designed to increase awareness and flexibility. Today was all about the pelvis--after walking briefly and observing our body, we lay on the ground and did these very gentle pelvic rolls.
It was an interesting experience. I could see that by the end, my spine was lying flatter on the ground and, in savasana, I was generally straighter (I can usually feel a curve to the right). I was also just much more aware of both body and surroundings, which, I think, is the goal of the practice. Admittedly, I had to stifle snickers at repeated "bring attention to your pelvis! Does your pelvis feel freer?" but overall it was interesting. I think I'll try it again.
The teacher's instructions were certainly distinct from Bikram's--she kept saying, "just be aware of differences between right and left. Don't try to correct anything." Maybe I'm misrepresenting Bikram, but I always thought that we were to identify differences in order to actively work on them!
Good to try new things, right?