Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Walk This Way

Sarah gave us a lesson in walking this week. "Bodhi Tree Finishing School," she calls it.  We positioned ourselves in Tadasana, then walked while learning to place our feet properly (heel to toe action, not up and down bouncing).  We swung our hips while pushing off from the back foot.  Then, we attempted all this while carrying 15 pound sandbags on our heads.  It was no small feat, I'll tell you.  (Yes, that horrid pun was intended.)

Sarah recommends wearing flat soled shoes, shoes that allow you to feel the ground under you, that don't restrict your feet, especially your toes.  Ideally, we would walk on grass and walk barefoot. This isn't always practical, but we can start by going barefoot in the house.

These puppies need a little work: try opening your toes so that you can see between each toe.  My weight isn't balanced; I shift over on my ankles which causes my knees to ache.  I also need to work at lifting my arches.

What on earth does this have to do with spinning?  A lot, actually.  The next time you sit at your wheel, pay attention to the way you move at your wheel.  Go barefoot or wear socks.  Stand in Tadasana before you sit; keep your back straight, but relaxed, with elbows in and shoulders down and relaxed.  Your chair should be firm, but comfortable, not so low that you are reaching up to the orifice, nor so high that your feet can't touch the ground without effort.

Check your alignment. Are your ankles stacked directly under your knees? If not, adjust your chair or wheel.

Place both feet evenly on the treadles.  (I'll assume double treadle here.  Use both feet on a single treadle wheel.)  Don't lift your feet up as you treadle, but think of treadling heel to toe, in a rocking motion.  I know a number of spinners who treadle with the outside edges of their feet or who shift their weight inwards on their ankles.  Keep your feet flat as you treadle and be aware of the weight distribution on them.  Do you feel balanced? You can treadle as quickly as you wish, but don't bounce and be aware of any discomfort in the ankles or the knees.  Take frequent breaks. 

If you're like me and get lost in the spinning, try setting a timer.  I have a meditation bell app that I can set to ring at intervals. That bell helps me to check in, to my posture and to my spinning.  Have I shifted from mindful spinning to habitual spinning?  Is my body still comfortable, but aligned?

Checking your posture as you spin will not only help you spin comfortably for longer sessions, it will turn your spinning activities into mindful awareness.  If you're paying attention, you'll spin more consistently, you'll catch problems early on and your yarn will improve.

The next time you sit at your wheel, take some time to sit before you spin.  Your body and your yarn will thank you.

And, thank you, Sarah!


It's time to switch to light weight socks.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!  (In memory of my Dad.)


  1. Yet again, I've never thought of spinning in this light. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Yoga, meditation and fibre work--a wonderful combination!

  2. I don't spin, but I know I have terrible posture when I knit. I'm sure the same mindfulness can be extended to other crafts.

    1. It certainly can. I practice these things when I'm knitting, weaving or doing any other craft. Paying attention to our feet is helpful for anyone, especially if you spend much time standing, walking, running or treadling.