Are you barefoot? If not whip off those socks and shoes (for real). Now, pick up one toe at a time off the floor. No, no, don’t move the other toes with it. Just one toe. Come on, concentrate! Stare at those little toes. Will them to move. You can do it!
Hard, right? Seriously, if anyone can move all their toes individually you better leave a comment here. I need to know if this is really possible. Sure, I can pick up my big toe but the rest of them are completely glued together lifting as one or lying there as a dead weight.
Supposedly our toes have the ability to move on their own, much like our fingers. But, it’s not just our toes that are so hard to move at will. There are all sorts of muscles around your body that you never think of that are really hard to move on command. These muscles can be dramatically different for different people. For me, I chalk it up to body awareness. I need to tap into what it feels like to engage these mysterious muscles, and suddenly it’s like it’s always been there, I can flex flex flex all I want.
As I have mentioned in my blog previously, I have this thing with my right knee. Knee stuff really freaks me out (I’d like to use my knees later in life). Louie, has really been after me to engage my quads to protect my knee. Sounds easy enough? Not for me. When she says “lift those knee caps” my tendency is to slam my knee back into hyper-extention. Thats quad engagement, right? Not exactly and ouch!!
So, today when I wasn’t expecting it I suddenly felt my quad engage right above my bad knee when I was standing in Tadasana and it really did feel like my knee cap was lifting (man, Louie is good). In Uttanasana (forward fold) I looked at my knee and watched in awe as the muscles in question acted like a little elevator for my knee cap as they engaged on my command. The best part was it didn’t hurt my knee. I started alternating left, right, left, right, up down, up, down. Hello quads! Turns out you were there all along.
So, that’s my epiphany for today. I found control of the muscle that will save my knee and I’m super excited. Today, my quads, tomorrow, my middle toe!