I wanted to share a little bit about the concept of grounding and connecting with mother Earth. Now that it’s finally getting nice enough outside here in Michigan I am more than excited to put my toes in the dirt and feel all the different textures that the planet has to offer. I spent the whole day barefoot in the garden absorbing all the offerings of the land I live on and wanted to encourage you to find some time to absorb the earth through your feet.
We don’t think about it often but we create a barrier between ourselves and the planet in so many different ways, further disconnecting ourselves from nature.
We have been conditioned to constantly consume to “fit in,” by culture, society, marketing for big brands, celebrity + beauty culture etc to further distance ourselves from the natural world. Often our shoes are pointed and have thick rubber soles. Which means are toes are crammed, and we are not connecting to the planet the way we evolved to. The mechanics of the foot are vast and there is much to learn and lot of great content out there. I am learning that the toes are meant to spread, have mobility, and to connect to the earth allowing instant bio feedback from our environment. Rob Greenfield is a great source to learn more about the positive effects of going Barefoot.
The earth feels good.
Since I live in a seasonal climate I try to ground as often as I can in the spring, summer and fall. When we are barefoot, we receive feedback from the earth. When we have nothing between us we can feel twigs and Pine-needles, pinecones, the smooth and not so smooth surfaces of rocks, tree roots and so so so much more. This is important because this is what our shoes are masking, giving us a false sense of reality that might be affecting our feet in the long run. If we can understand what’s under our feet we can make the appropriate adjustments in our step, which increases foot strength and ankle mobility.
We increase our bodies ability to experience the world through sensory perception.
I know we have to wear shoes sometimes
So I wanted to also share a few brands that I really enjoy who support a more minimal approach to shoes and that allow our feet to be as nature intended…allowing the toes to splay instead of being restricted and less “material” between the feet and the earth, allowing a greater sense or connection to the valuable information our feet are sending our brains.
When we step away from the hamster wheel of buying brands because…we’ve always bought them…we learn more about our power as a consumer to change the tides of products.
Something we don’t think about often but many of our shoes and much of that is indicated by current styles is having heels and thick rubber between ourselves in the earth and that’s not necessarily a good thing for our own foot health mechanics.
So in this chapter of life I’ve been leaning into foot health. Especially as a yogi 🧘🏻♀️ where foot strength can help in so many ways…balancing postures and just a deeper connection with my mat.
A few minimalist/barefoot/foot celebratory shoes to check out
It’s a process to find the brands that align with you…I am always looking for brands that are sustainable, give back to the environment and that practice sacred reciprocity with all life involved. Something that’s not always easy to find and takes effort and time.
Vivobarefoot Use this Link and type in Jennifer Sakarian at checkout for 25% off your next order
I have the Tracker FG which I really love. It’s my go to boot for winter + fall and hiking trips. They are really warm shoes and provide great ankle support. They allow my toes to splay and spread as nature intended. I feel by wearing these shoes it helps to train my toes for my yoga practice to. It’s a really fine quality crafted boot and I have nothing but positive things to say about them. They are at a higher price point but I think it’s fair because the quality is impeccable.
Last year my husband and I decided to start hiking in our Xero sandals. We discovered that our feet really liked the bio feedback that they received from the thin layer of the sandal between ourselves in the earth. It allowed us to move and be flexible and to really feel what was in their environment without the false belief that our feet are safe in such a thick hiking boot. We might not always hike in our sandals but it’s giving us a lot of freedom especially in the mid spring to summer to really lower feet feel especially when the conditions are right for us to really engage in our environment. These are our go to shoes in the summer, we develop a great Z shape tan line from wearing…every day! Especially great for hikes where there is some water or streams across the path.
A few questions for you
Do you like to spend time out doors with no shoes?
How can you implement a barefoot experience in your life?
Have you tried minimalist or wide toe box shoes?