The Four Corners of Our Feet: Hameichin Mitzadei Gaver/ Who Strengthens Our Steps
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We are on the sixth blessing of the Nisim B’Chol Yom/the blessings for daily miracles recited during morning prayers:
“Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe,
Who strengthens our steps.”
For a number of reasons, I recently began practicing Yoga (again!) I want to see if keeping my body a bit more flexible will assist in alleviating some of the discomfort I have been experiencing in my back and neck. While doing the practice, I have discovered that rather than focusing on my spine, arms or legs, I seem to be concentrating on what my feet are doing. The teacher I use encourages me to “stand on the four corners of” my feet. Interestingly, when I do that, the rest of my body seems to fall into place.
While I certainly understand what it means to “be grounded” and have discovered many ways to get myself to that feeling, the Yoga experience is slightly different. Rather than “grounding” myself to keep my head connected to my body, Yoga enables me to “ground” myself in order to keep all the parts of my body connected, healthy and working together. The experience is extraordinary and strengthening.
Prayer, “grounding,” Yoga or some other focused meditation on our feet, is a powerful way to connect with our life’s path. It appears that in “strengthening our steps,” The Holy One of Being points us in the right direction for whatever journey we may be taking today.
Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. ©2000. Philomel. Ages 6-10. What do you do when your too-big feet, your too-long legs and your big mouth get in the way of your dream of becoming a star ballerina? Sassy does everything she can to realize her dream when the Dance Festival Director comes to town to audition students, but may have gone too far with the orange leotard. Based on the author’s true life experiences.
The Foot Book Written and Illustrated By Dr. Seuss. ©1968. Random House. Ages 3-7. Who knows more about feet and what they can do than Dr. Seuss? “Oh, how many feet you meet!”
Harris Finds His Feet Written and Illustrated By Catherine Rayner. ©2008. Good Books. Ages 5-8. Harris wants to know why he has such big feet. So he asks his Grandpa who leads him on a wondrous journey of discovery and ultimately independence.
The Queen’s Feet by Sarah Ellis. Illustrated by Dušan Petričić. ©2006. Red Deer Press. Ages 5-8. Queen Daisy is a wonderful ruler, except that her feet have a mind of their own. Whether tap dancing or walking in the fish pond, wearing boots that thumped through the palace halls or sandals to show off her toenail polish, her feet did and wore whatever they wanted. All that was fine, until her feet kicked a visiting king in the shins – well, he was a bully – but that was rude! Then the wizards and wise people of the country had to get involved.
©2014 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com. All rights reserved.
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