Barefoot Running

Do you remember running barefoot as a child? The feeling under your feet of damp grass, a hot sandy beach... of large flat stones, a thistle or a pine cone?

beach barefoot

Unfortunately, for many of us, that playfulness is quickly stopped short as we are put into shoes that completely cut-off the natural sensory feedback of our feet on the earth. Leading to bunions, poor posture and perhaps even knee and hip problems.

From the age of 10, I wore orthotics or heel lifts, as my parents tried to prevent the kind of problems they had had with their feet and backs. But a few years later, as a young adult living by the beach in Italy and Australia, I really wanted to run barefoot on the sand, and it didn't seem right to continue wearing a shoe insert in between barefoot runs.

I hoped yoga would correct any imbalances in my skeleton and posture to support my barefoot running... and although it was a little painful at first, I did give up shoe inserts then, and I haven't used them since.

It took me many years though, to discover barefoot shoes. Inspired by friends who wear Vivo Barefoot Shoes to run and climb mountains, I took a running lesson at the Vivo Barefoot shop in Covent Garden and my life was irreversibly changed...

Using barefoot running techniques, with video analysis and one-to-one support, I found an alignment that took me to another level of self-awareness, strength and health that I am deeply grateful for. Within a few minutes of wearing my first pair of barefoot shoes, I began smiling, as my shoulders dropped and I felt aliveness from my heels through my spine, into my head and the rest of my body.

It was something I had experienced in yoga as well, but walking like this, feeling the earth through my feet with every step along Covent Garden's streets, I realised that life really would be so much more enjoyable with the easy posture that my body provides when I am walking barefoot. There was pain again as my muscles adjusted, but since then I have not worn heeled or stiff-soled shoes, and for now, cannot imagine going back to them.

I include barefoot running techniques in my private retreats in Sicily and I highly recommend Vivo Barefoot Shoes and barefoot running training with Peter Ford at their shop in Covent Garden.

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