The Wobble Dance

From Frederic Ferri, founder of YogaPro.

I have a new baby daughter. She and her mother are the absolute center of my life.

I love and enjoy watching my daughter’s beginning desire and efforts to stand. The wobble dance is what I call it. Either I hold her up under her arms, near the sides of her rib cage or by taking her hands and wrists in my hands. She’s so beautiful and so enthusiastic about “standing”. Her chubby legs and diapered butt doing the little wobble dance. She’ll stabilize and stand still for a bit. Her beautiful, little baby feet are so perfect, so cute and adorable. I could hold her in her wobble dance forever. Her excitement – the joy and smiles – are more than anyone could ask for.

The wobble dance is perfect! No, it’s not polished, but it’s perfect. Her little wobbles are the anticipation of her dance through a lifetime.  Moving independently is at the very heart of life. Think about it – running barefoot on a warm summer day is truly beyond compare. Memories of those shoeless days are complete with remarkable detail: humidity, the quality of the light. Thats profound in my book. Even a distant observer can feel promise in a baby’swobble dance. Deep in our being is the recognition that movement is life.

I think of the life her little feet and body are preparing for.  She can nearly stand without my assistance. For brief moments she needs no lift assistance at all, just a wobble guard. In other words her legs and baby feet are able to stably support her body… with surprisingly little assistance.

She’s so happy when she’s pushing her feet down, to stand up, on the kitchen table or on my lap. There is no doubt that she’s feeling the stability of the “ground” as her feet push. Getting used to resisting gravity, if you will. She’s beginning to feel and learn her balance. Her little feet are already preparing to move.

Please join me in a background thought on how we start out life as totally immobile, dependent creatures and then, eventually end up as basically dependent creatures once again ( at the other end of the journey).

Safe and skillful mobility is such a major step in a new life, such a central part of living independantly. The phase inbetween crawling and running is fraught with failure, falls, and yep, even danger. It’s pretty obvious how everyone gains skillful and independent mobility, practice, practice, practice. Now lets realize that the fall back down to immobility and dependence isn’t trial-and-error or so necessarily so obvious.

The feet are where the lion’s share of balance is managed. Feet that are not allowed or encouraged to be all they can be, start being what you don’t want them to be pretty darn fast. Unfortunately our feet only get a second thought when they start to send the pain message. I say, “If ignorance was painful, we’d be way smarter way sooner”. That couldn’t be more true when it comes to feet and pain. Basically we ignore our foot health until it’s pretty far gone. Think of all the preventative attention most aspects of our health get. Low fat , low salt, low sugar, low carbs, servings of veggies, ½ hour of exercise each day, etc. We cant get through a day without being blasted with what you need to do to stay healthy, except for a very major, major part of wellness and health .. our feet!

The bottom line – foot health in the information age has little new or valuable information. What infuriation is available remains primarily crisis intervention with little on prevention, why feet begin to hurt or what to do to keep them healthy and in shape ( vs. mishaped).

Feet are no different than the rest of our body( except they may be used more intensely). Feet need proper exercise, strengthening and stretching, just like all muscles and joints. Feet without proper exercise will invariably produce pain (hey we’re hurting down here!).

I am going to make sure that our daughter knows how to keep her beautiful feet healthly and dancing.

Check back anytime and keep on dancing.

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2 Comments

  • Danielle Donohue
    April 26, 2011 - 5:30 PM | Permalink

    I SOO remember this fun stage:)

  • Liza
    April 28, 2011 - 1:51 PM | Permalink

    What an evocative reminder of a charming baby trait! I just love it when they *almost* get it figured out.

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