Yoga for Your Feet

Jun 24th, 2011 by Jenna Goldberg | Be The First To Comment

Yoga feet
Before you close this window, healthy yoga poses for your feet do not require standing on your head or bending over backwards- in fact, it can be as easy as just standing. Standing poses are fantastic for reviving energy in the feet, strengthening muscles, and adapting feet to healthy positions that will in turn benefit the rest of your body.

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’ll recall that the first thing the instructor directs the class to do is to take off shoes and socks. So why is going barefoot beneficial to yoga? Holding healthy poses while barefoot can stretch and strengthen different muscles and toes, and practicing yoga regularly can help you avoid foot conditions such as hammertoe, and can assist in healing existing foot problems. You might find that taking time out of your day to relax your feet will prove to be very worthwhile.

In yoga, spreading your toes helps to strengthen the muscles and connective tissue of your feet. This helps prevent bunions that can be caused by wearing shoes that cram your toes together. It also may help diabetics improve circulation in their feet. Given the room to lengthen the foot and spread your toes, your stride will prove to be more balanced and natural.

So relax, and take your time through these two poses while focusing on your breath. Inhale deeply through the nose and exhale fully through the mouth. If you have it, lay out a yoga mat. A towel will also suffice, or the floor is just fine. 
 

Yoga Pose
Downward-Facing Dog:

Part of the traditional Sun Salutation Sequence. This stretch helps relieve tension in the feet and the backs of legs, especially calves, as well as opens up the hips, elongates the spine, and releases tension throughout the entire spinal column.

  1. Go down to the floor onto hands and knees. Position knees directly below hips and place your hands slightly forward of your shoulders, shoulder-width apart. Spread your fingers.
  2. As you exhale, lift your knees off the floor and lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis. (Variation: Pose with heels to wall for added stability).
  3. Take three deep breaths, pushing your heels into the floor and head between your arms. Hold pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes.*For an extra stretch, alternate lifting your heels, stretching the arch of your foot and pushing the opposite heel into the floor.
  4. Slowly step your feet to your hands, still leaning forward.
  5. Place hands above knees, and slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae, roll up to a standing position. 
 
 

 

Yoga doing yoga pose
Mountain Pose:

The mountain pose is the foundation for all of the standing postures, it improves posture and groundedness.
1. Stand with both feet touching, from heel to big toe. If you can’t touch feet together, try moving them as close together as you can. Keep your back straight and arms pressed gently against your sides, palms facing inward.
2. Slightly tighten or flex muscles in knees, thighs, stomach, and buttocks while keeping a healthy posture.
3. Lengthen your feet from the base of the big toe to the inner heel, and from the base of the little toe to the outer heel.
4. Inhale and lift out of the waist, reaching arms above your head, palms facing inward. Reach through the fingers. You may also clasp hands together over your head and point index fingers towards the sky.
5. Press your heels into the floor, then slowly lift both heels and roll onto the ball of your feet. Hold for a count of five, and slowly lower back to the floor. Repeat up to five times.
6. Lower arms and take a moment of standing quietly, before enjoying the rest of your day.

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About Author 

Jenna Goldberg attended University of Hawai’i at Manoa and graduated from California State University Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English concentration. When she is not working in the office as HealthyFeetStore.com's Web Content Writer and Digital Marketing Specialist you can find Jenna surfing or snowboarding. She also contributes to S4Mag.com, The Inertia and SALTED Magazine and other surf and snowboard publications. You can find her on Google +.

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