Feet are amazing …… 28 bones, 33 joints, 12 ligaments and 34 muscles. They support us for hours each and every day … whether we are walking, running, standing or even sitting with feet on floor. A recent article in Saga magazine stated that by the time we are 50, our feet have covered 75,000 miles … yes, you read that right, 75,000 miles.
And of course in yoga our feet play both a physical and symbolic role – helping us grip our mats in standing asanas like Warrior 1 and 2, enabling our standing poses like Dancer and Tree. We often use the symbolism of feeling our feet being ground when we need to feel ‘still’ or ‘grounded’. And if you’ve ever enjoyed a walking meditation, you’ll know all about how wonderfully the feet can convey the feeling of the ground beneath you.
So it’s well worth looking after your feet – a bit of regular tlc
- Wear comfortable shoes – as least most of the time!
- Vary heel heights – good for both feet and legs
- Avoid dry skin building up and keep feet well moisturised
- Exercise the feet regularly
Some examples of good exercises for feet:
- Lay with legs up the wall (Viparita Karani) – your legs and back will love this too
- Whilst standing, try to create a space between each toe – gives a lovely stretch
- Whilst standing, try and move the big toe away from your first toe – supposed to alleviate bunion pain
- Whilst standing, lift each toe in turn (if you can)
- Whilst seated or standing – roll a tennis ball around under your foot – said to alleviate plantar fascitis
- Whilst sitting or laying, with leg straight, point and flex foot – good stretch
And I love this wonderful quote from Thich Nhat Hanh