At Golden Door our team trainers are multi-skilled and use a wide variety of techniques to engage our guests in fun and effective movement.
Training barefoot is often recommended during our outdoor activity classes, yoga and Pilates sessions and perhaps surprisingly to some, for much of our strength and resistance training also.
Being barefoot and in direct connection with the ground beneath us has so many benefits, not only for building strength and stability within the body but for the cultivation and flow of our personal energy, too.
So why train barefoot?
- Kicking off the shoes during functional and mobility training allows for greater connection with our smaller, stabilising muscles of the feet and ankles. Often these smaller muscles are underused and as a result weakened. Because we are in shoes so often, the sometimes great support from our footwear allows our feet to get lazy – too much of a good thing isn’t always awesome!
- Strengthening and stabilizing the muscles of the feet can improve our proprioception; this is our natural, unconscious sense perception of how we move our bodies within the space around us. Having improved proprioception is really positive for balance and helps develop our natural movement patterns – meaning we are more likely to protect ourselves from trips and falls, which becomes crucial as we age (daily!).
- The development of our natural movement patterns and having a barefoot connection with the earth beneath our feet also serves to strengthen our Qi (chi), which is our vital energy, the breath of the body so to speak. Being barefoot helps us to ground ourselves and to connect with the powerful energy of nature and the environment around us for maintaining strength and vitality; essential to living a rich and fulfilling life.
Article by Matt Rendall, Movement and Fitness Manager, Golden Door Health Retreat and Spa