Many spiritual traditions believe the body and soul are connected to—and even embodied in—the soles of the feet. Devotees around the world touch, wash, or kiss the feet of their teachers as a way of showing love and respect. Vishnu’s footprints are worshipped in temples and holy sites across Asia. And in ancient Egypt, undertakers removed the soles of the deceased during mummification to liberate their souls from the physical plane.
The ancient healing traditions of China, India, and Egypt also recognized that the feet serve as mirrors for our overall wellbeing. Today, the American Podiatric Medical Association echoes this wisdom, stating “Such conditions as arthritis, diabetes, nerve, and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet—so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems.”
Whether you have collapsed arches or simply feel sore and tired at the end of a long day, try setting aside five minutes for ayurvedic foot massage, which not only alleviates stress and fatigue, but activates the immune system, eases emotional imbalance, and balances all three doshas. By nurturing and connecting with your soles, you set a foundation for vibrant health of mind, body and soul.
Want More? Check out additional recommendations in the fall issue of Yoga International.