My name is Holly Dowling and out of my many passions, yoga and hiking are at the top of the list. I recently moved across the US from North Carolina to Washington so I could be surrounded by epic mountains and when I am not working as a sales director for a biotechnology company, you can find me on a trail.
A year or so ago I had just started my new job and it took over my life. I was not practicing yoga as much as I would have liked and I only was able to hike about once a month. When I did go hiking, I would get terrible pain in my knees on the way down, to the point where I would have to stop and sit down and could not hike again for a few days afterwards. Having a physical ailment that kept me from doing my favorite thing in the world was frightening, and I knew I had to find the underlying cause.
From the yoga teacher trainings I have done, I knew that everything in our body is connected and starts with our foundation, our feet. If you have pain in your knees, you most likely have something going on with your feet or ankles, and may be experiencing pain in your hips as the imbalance works its way up your body.
The first thing I tried, since I had not been doing as much yoga, was to make sure I was doing balancing poses for at least 5 minutes each day. I placed extreme focus on the placement of my foot – I made sure I was grounding down through all four corners of my feet and that my toes spread evenly on the mat. From this strong and balanced foundation, I would then move into my balancing postures.
Bringing this routine of specific poses into my daily life helped to alleviate some of the pain, but it still was not enough. It was during this time that I was introduced to the concept of a shoe designed to allow your foot to function naturally so that the strong foundation I was building before each yoga pose could be taken off the mat and onto the trail with each step I took.
My Joe Nimble® Functional Footwear combined with a routine yoga practice full of balancing and strengthening poses has allowed me to be able to hike down even the steepest mountains without pain. In Washington, the trails can be very rocky, so I also use the Flexitec® footbeds, which allow for even more impact absorption and stabilization.
The beautiful trees that surround me on the trail have taught me the importance of staying grounded. My feet are my roots connecting me to the earth. In order to be healthy and free to do what I love, I have to treat my feet with care and allow them to move freely as they were meant to.
Are you inspired by Holly’s story and want to get your hands on a pair of nimbleToes Trail?