LOTUS FEET: 3-Step Foot Care Ritual
We wholeheartedly believe that true beauty is inner beauty...
Beauty is realized when we accept that we are important enough to honor our bodies and treat ourselves to even the simplest acts of reverent self-care. Some of the most fundamental practices of self-care focus on acts of purification of the body, mind, and spirit. Ritual cleansing is all about stripping away impurities to reveal our inner light, or Lakshmi. Lakshmi is known as the goddess of purity and prosperity who reveals herself as the rich sweetness of the experience of life. When we take a moment to honor ourselves and embrace all we have experienced in this life, we move toward greater states of radiance.
THE PRACTICE OF CLEANSING ritualS
If you are familiar with the "8 Limbs of Yoga" proposed by the great sage Patañjali, you may be familiar with the niyamas or tenets of Patanjali's Ashtanga yoga. According to this ancient sage, one of the niyamas or "duties of a yogi" is the cultivation of purity. This is the very first niyama and it is known as saucha. Saucha is all about the act of cleansing impurities of the mind, body, and spirit. Even as we move through daily hygiene rituals to cleanse our physical bodies, we can imagine washing away the B.S. with pure, positive, cleansing intentions.
One of the best ways we can cultivate saucha and attend to our wellbeing is by focusing our attention on our feet. Why feet? Well, how often do we show our feet love and attention? They are the hardest working, yet one of the least appreciated parts of our bodies! Our feet carry us through this life. They bear our weight and they connect us to our foundation on earth. Many, many beings have walked this earth to experience life's beautiful, raw energy. We are just one precious, singular manifestation among them.
In many eastern traditions, the feet are considered to be both sacred and profane. Guests are offered water to cleanse their feet upon entering the home of their host. Many rituals and prayers around the world commence with the cleansing of the feet. In this spirit, we begin our ritual of cleansing the feet.
CLEANSE & PURIFY
- SOAK // The ancient Hindu texts say that the life of the goddess begins in the waters, just as the lotus rises from the depth of the waters. We begin by cleansing the feet in a foot bath. Soak 1/2 cup of epsom salts in a gallon of warm water. Soak for 10-15 minutes to soften the feet. Imagine all worries melting away in the warm water. Visualize all impurities of the day dissolving away.
+ For a more sensuous experience, try adding a few drops of essential oil to the water.
- EXFOLIATE + BUFF // After soaking, use a wash cloth to wipe away any stubborn dirt particles from the feet. Apply a dab of body scrub to the palms of the hands and then rub the legs, ankles, tops of the feet and soles of the feet vigorously using long strokes on the lengths of the legs and circular motions at the ankle joint. A pumice stone can also be used to gently slough off particularly rough patches or smooth away calluses on the soles of the feet. A nail brush is helpful for exfoliating around the nails. Always be gentle around the cuticles! Make each gesture symbolic, intentionally ridding yourself of any impure thoughts and lingering, burdensome aspects of the past.
The feet of our wisest teachers (guru) are considered sacred "lotus feet" the foundation of wisdom, and thus honor is shown to the guru and other highly respected individuals by the humble gesture of bowing down at their feet or by the more devotional gesture of kissing the top of the foot or massaging the soles of the feet in the way the goddess Lakshmi rubs the lotus feet of her lord Vishnu.
MASSAGE & MOISTURIZE
The feet are our foundation upon which we rest in our embodied, manifest form. Release tension accumulated from extended periods of standing or moving in narrow shoes on unforgiving surfaces.
- MASSAGE // Massage the feet using firm pressure point stimulation. Start at the back of the heel, around the ankle, continuing onto the sole of the foot pressing the knuckles firmly into the bottom of the foot. Move from the back of the heel toward the toes and then back again. On the top of the foot, massage between the connective tissue using the fingertips, work from the toes down toward the ankles. Breathe deeply into any achy areas.
- MOISTURIZE // Make this ritual a little more luxurious by anointing the feet with a protective balm. Use a foot lotion or abhyanga oil to moisturize and massage the feet. Work the balm into the skin moving in soft circles over the heel and using long strokes on the length of the feet. Use soft circular motions over the top of the toes. Massaging the feet with an oil will protect against cracking, peeling and aging. Focus on cultivating pure abundant beauty and grace. Feel free to continue massaging up the calves and shins. Finish with an application of nourishing cuticle oil.
In a state of purity and relaxation, we are ready to step into our own effervescent energy field, take the journey inward and understand the essence behind the manifestation of life. Lakshmi is this essence- the pure beauty embodied in us and all living things. Be both the goddess and the god, the giver & receiver of love and devotion through self-massage.
Ornament with Polish
- SELF-ADORNMENT // Now that your feet are looking fresh and revived, it is time to ornament them. You may choose to apply a bit of henna, a varnish of color, or a protective clear coat. Nail art is always an option! Toe rings, anklets, and other jewelry are a few great ways to honor and appreciate your feet through ornamentation. Beautiful! Bow to your own beautiful lotus feet :)
- BEAUTY LIES WITHIN -