Freeing the Ankles to Establish a "Forward and Up" Standing Orientation:
A common misconception is that standing straight or upright means that you stand perpendicular to the ground, with most of your weight on your heels. This is a hold-over from the Military Posture, a way of standing that does not maximize agility, balance, or coordination.
Activity 1: Without bending the rest of your body, shift your weight forward to your toes and back to the front of your heels, moving from the ankle joint, and getting comfortable with your weight balance more forward on your feet. When you get too far forward and feel your toes gripping the ground, picture your toes extending forward like roots on a tree. (See below.)
Activity 2: As you are getting used to balancing more forward on the feet, notice where you most easily pivot on your feet. Experiment with looking behind you, allowing your entire body to pivot around a Forward and Up axis of rotation. Try both sides. (See below)
When you are balanced on this pivot point, the weight of the head is over the ball of the foot, allowing the spine to be free from most of the weight of the head, reducing compression of the spine.
Until the next lesson, continue to practice standing in a "forward and up" position, with the head balanced over the pivot-point of the feet.