We all need to do more to look after our feet. Proper alignment of the feet is key to good yoga practice – not only keeping us balanced and safely grounded to the floor – but also good for the health of our feet in general. Proper alignment includes grounding though the four corners of the feet (the big toe mound, the baby toe mound, the inner heel and the outer heel), lifting the arches, and equally distributing weight between each foot.
Lifting the toes towards the sky while standing helps to activate the foot muscles, lift the arches and ground through the four corners of the feet. Try lifting just the big toe, leaving the others on the floor, and the reverse
All standing poses will increase muscle tone and stretch the foot muscles and connective tissue. Don’t forget the ankles - sit on your heels, flexed with the toes tucked under, as well as flat.
Our body reflects everything we do with our feet, therefore if our feet are in proper alignment our bodies will come into better posture too.
The standing yoga poses that we did last week to strengthen leg muscles and feet will also help improve foot problems as well as increase circulation, reduce leg cramping, help reduce swollen ankles, and create stability in the body.
Last week, we started with a standing warm up sequence. In the winter when you find yourself feeling cold and stiff, rather than lie down on your mat, it can be a good idea to begin your yoga with some gentle moving sequences. Work with the breath, and think about flowing, easing your way into the movements as you feel your muscles respond.
Below is are some of the top to toe warm-ups we did last week. (Please note, this isn’t a how-to guide, but a reminder to those who were in the class.)
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