Sunday Newsletter: 2024.02.11

sunday newsletters Feb 11, 2024
Online Pilates newsletter

What if we told you that your feet are connected to your skull? And that the health of your feet could impact everything in between? No, we haven't lost our minds—it's all grounded in the comprehensive approach of Pilates, which is about achieving "uniform development" for overall body health. Pilates hinges on the understanding that the body is an integrated system, functioning through the coordination of all its parts rather than as isolated segments.

Consider the image below, particularly the far-left skeleton labeled as the "superficial back line." This line is a fascial pathway that starts from the bottom of the foot, runs up the posterior (the backside) aspect of the body, and terminates at the brow ridge. Encompassing the plantar fascia, the gastrocnemius in your calves, the hamstrings, the sacrotuberous ligament, the erector spinae along your spine, and the galea aponeurotica of the scalp (think: connective tissue baseball cap), it's a prime example of bodily interconnectedness.

(Credit: Anatomy Trains, Thomas Myers) 

So what?

Well, these myofascial lines demonstrate how each segment can influence another due to fascial continuity. If you've ever been frustrated by "tight hamstrings" that don't respond to stretching, it might be because the true issue lies in the health of your plantar fascia or calves. Dysfunction can ripple along these lines, setting off a chain reaction.

Coming full circle to our initial point—your feet's connection to your skull—those enduring chronic headaches or neck stiffness might find that the tension in these areas is actually linked to tightness in the lower parts of the Superficial Back Line. So, giving some attention to your feet, calves, hamstrings, and back muscles might just be the relief you've been seeking. That’s right, we’re telling you to massage your feet to help with a headache or backache.

Remember: February is dedicated to foot health, and we believe it's crucial to share that taking care of your feet has benefits for your entire system.



Monday, February 12th:

There’s no live class today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take class. Click the pic below to access a 50-minute recording of foot-intensive work led by Nicole. Prop: a small, soft ball and a chair.

Challenge: Before you take this video, try to do a forward fold (aka: bend over to try to touch your toes). Take note of any tightness or restriction that you feel in your back line. Do you feel a pull in your feet? Calves? Hamstrings? Glutes? Back? Neck? Skull? Then, after you’ve taken the class, try the forward fold again. Notice any differences? Perhaps on the first attempt you weren’t even close to touching your toes, but on the second attempt you could either touch them or got pretty dang close.