Almost all of the poses and practices of Yoga are centered around the most mistreated and underappreciated part of the body: our feet. However, keeping your feet healthy is essential to improving your Yoga practice.
Here are ten tips to healthier feet that will improve your yoga practice too.
1. Soothe aching feet with added cushioning.
NamaSTAY towels not only protect your Yoga mat from dirt, wear and tear, but they can also add extra cushioning to your feet so you’re not standing on hard ground all the time. Another option is to change up your routine with park or beach yoga sessions.
2. Take some of the pressure off your feet.
After a long day at work, it’s important that you kick off your shoes and put your feet up for a little while. This means propping the feet up on a few pillows, so they are elevated above the heart level. Drain the fluid and feel instantly lighter.
3. Elongate the toes and stretch the sole of your foot.
In standing poses, “Press down into your heels and press forward with the base of the big and little toes, grounding forward with the ball of the foot,” says Yoga Journal. This stretches the foot and improves circulation.
4. Stretch out with a tennis ball.
Before a Yoga session, stand on a tennis ball and roll it back and forth across the length of the foot to stretch the arch, heel, toes and front pad. Remember, a stronger foot means stronger poses.
5. Mind your toenails.
Long toenails can really get in the way of mastering Yoga poses. Worse yet, toenails that are cut improperly can lead to ingrown toenails, which is not only painful but also an entry-point for fungus and bacteria to invade the body.
6. Try foot strengthening products.
YogaToes Gems spread, stretch and exercise your toes, helping to condition and realign your feet. According to the manufacturer, “Gems improve and prevent hammertoes, bunions, Plantar Fasciitis, crossed toes, poor circulation, flat feet, [and] foot fatigue”
7. Practice toe lifts.
Ground your weight evenly through the four points of your feet – the big toe mount, little toe mound, the inner heel and outer heel. Slowly lift your toes off the ground and spread them out. Spend some time lifting only your big toes and then only your pinky toes. If done daily, this simple exercise will boost circulation and improve the strength in your feet.
8. Bring your own sticky mat to class.
Did you know that Yoga classes can be a breeding ground for athlete’s foot, plantar warts and toenail fungus? Bringing your own mat and opting for yoga socks will protect you from picking up any unwanted guests on your soles.
9. Keep your mat clean.
10. Keep your shoes sanitized.
We’re quick to throw dirty socks in the laundry, but what about our shoes? Bacteria and fungi love to thrive in a warm, dark, moist environment – like the shoes. The SteriShoe UV light shoe sanitizer kills up to 99.9% of the fungus and bacteria in the shoe within 45 minutes. Sanitizing the shoe helps keep the feet free from pesky athlete’s foot or toenail fungus.
For more ways to be kind to your feet – SteriShoe.com.