We see a lot of bare feet in Yoga classes. Panning the room, I can see swollen and discolored feet, toes that jam together, ankles that turn outward, flat feet, corns and calluses. And then I see these same feet hold a body up in Warrior and Tree Poses and I am amazed at the resilience of our feet!
But, if I were to ask these students about their feet, I’d hear quite a few complaints and ailments. Special orthotics are common for our demographic, which got me doing a little research on why that is.
We’ve lost touch with our feet!
Lifting the arch, rotating the ankle and bending the toes forward and back are quite challenging tasks for many of our students. All of these natural movement patterns are necessary to keep our feet healthy. We need our feet for walking, balancing, stair stepping, driving, tiptoeing, and so many other daily functions. For that reason, I consciously incorporate more foot work into both my Gentle and Chair Yoga classes. I also learn and share some fancy footwork facts from other teachers.
Here’s something Carin, a Chair Yoga Teacher, thinks is worth sharing with EVERYONE! It is from The Book of Exercise and Yoga for Those with Parkinson’s Disease: Using Movement and Meditation to Manage Symptoms by Lori A. Newell.
“Before standing it is good to warm up the feet and ankles, especially if you have been sitting for a long time. Many falls happen while transitioning from sitting to standing. Sitting for long periods can reduce the circulation in the legs, impairing balance. Toe lifts will restore circulation to the legs.”
In these videos, I share some ideas and reasons why we need to keep our feet moving and staying healthy!