I do my writing and studying at a DIY standing work station. I do it to avoid sitting and the attendant health risks, when done too much. And because if i sit for work, I turn into a big C (uh, that means I place my trunk into the shape of a C) and stay there for hours without moving. When I stand at my work station, I find that I naturally I squirm about more. I capitalize on and enhance this natural tendency to move by giving myself little activities to do. Today, while writing I:
- stretched my calves on the half round (exercise to be described in a future post)
- stretched the top of my feet (see future post)
- Pelvic listed (see future post)
- Hung out in Vrksasana aka the yoga pose called “tree”
- Constantly checked my alignment – straightened the lateral edges of my feet, backed my hips up to vertically stack my major joints, dropped my ribs down, released my kneecaps by releasing my gripping quad muscles, aligned my pelvis so that my ASISs (pelvic bones aka hip pointers) and my pubic bone are in the same frontal plane, ramped my head back to get my ears over my shoulders and my eyes level with the horizon
- Stood on various sizes of balls
If you’ve ever attended a FootLove Yoga workshop or maybe even one of my classes, you have have rolled a lacrosse ball on the bottom of your foot to loosen up the fascial tissues and provide a strong sensory nerve experience. Since beginning to stand at my computer station a few months ago, I have begun to crave these ball sessions, but using softer balls like tennis and racquet balls, and allowing my foot to rest quietly on the ball. As I’ve said before, your feet evolved primarily for walking on varied terrain with hills, bumps, divets, sharp rocks, smooth stones, roots, holes, sand, dirt, grasses, leaves, brambles, water, slick, sloggy, hard, soft – deforming their 33 joints (each!) in a nearly infinite number of positions while naked. The contours of the earth helped to keep our feet supple. While I’m at my standing desk, I use balls of various sizes, textures, and yielding properties to drape my feet over, one foot at a time. After several minutes, I may start to very slowly move my foot over the ball, but often I stay still and try to be present to the innervation or waking up of these areas. Exploring various shapes with your soles stretches your muscles and joints in ways that you likely won’t experience unless you are walking on the natural earth with your feet bare.
If your feet have been immobile for a long time, start slow, with soft balls & shapes, for small amounts of time.