Calloused feet vs. Palace feet

First of all allow me to preface by saying that I am absolutely fine with my feet. I don’t despise them. I don’t love them. I don’t obsess over them. They’re fucking feet. They work and they get me to where I need to go. Should be the end. Right?

This world is so blindly obsessed with perfection that now our FEET have to be perfectly shaped and filed and hacked and sawed and glistening. I mean, pedicures I understand for special occasions or when you get in that I-deserve-to-be-pampered mode. But on a regular basis, really? That’s like going to the Dry Bar (NY hair salon that ONLY does blow-outs and serves cocktails at the bar. Pretty clever catch for the elite but anyway) every other day. Think I’m kidding check ’em out.

I never even paid attention to my feet until I started practicing yoga some years ago. I had terrible balance. Abysmal. I couldn’t even change my pants without sitting down unless I wanted to land in an embarrassing heap on the floor. I mean forget about Tree pose. Everything really does extend from Tadasana (Mountain pose)! I went from that to lava rock hopping on hikes here in Kauai. Always barefoot. Actually wait, the one time I put shoes on at the insistence of my sisters, I promptly twisted my ankle. Never again. Barefoot it is. I am now sure-footed and proud. And calloused. Very very calloused.

My sister Kay has super soft feet. She teases me about going barefoot and having rough feet. Once on a hike to Ho’opi’i Falls, I was teasing my friend and teacher Snehan Born about wearing tabis. I was of course barefoot. I said, “aren’t you a yogi? what happened to your calloused feet?” (Not that you need to have rock feet to be a yogi, I was just picking on him). And he says “but I don’t have calloused feet, I have Palace feet!” Needless to say, we were roaring on the floor. The confessions of a yogi with tender feet. I loved it. But I also starting wondering and doubting my own feet. Maybe I should take more care in their appearance. I can almost feel students staring at them when I’m teaching and my foot is in their face.

Just the other day, I broke a glass. My water glass was on the coffee table and my foot (haha!) somehow brought it to the ground which is hardly a foot away. I mean this thing shattered into as many pieces as possible for such a small annoying water glass. Days after the cleanup, I’m walking around and you guessed it – stepped hard onto a significant shard of glass. It had pierced all the way through my foot, right where I have a huge callous! My callous saved me from what would have been an extremely painful bloody mess. I will never ever doubt my hard working calloused feet ever again. You all can keep your tender soft rare royalty palace feet. I guess I do love mine. ~Monica Chung

Here are my feet at Lydgate Beach 🙂


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