Have you ever really thought about how much your feet do for you? Without feet, we wouldn’t easily be able to do many things we do on a daily basis. Think about it. When your feet hurt, and you have no alternative shoes, you usually want to stop whatever you’re doing so that you can go home and put your feet up. They can affect your posture, mood, and even cause you pain in other parts of the body.
So why do we ignore our feet when it comes to self care? Happy feet are the foundation for overall health. In order to maintain healthy feet, it’s helpful to maintain strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as eating well and wearing the right shoes. While there are many exercises that you can do, an all-inclusive activity is Yoga. When practiced with care and mindfulness, it’s can be very effective and beneficial to your feet (and your whole body!)
For starters, standing poses can help you build awareness of your feet. Try mountain pose and pay attention to the following:
Are you leaning on one leg more than the other? Do your best to stand with even weight distribution.
Where is the weight in your feet? Are your ankles rolling inward or outward? Is the weight on the inside or outsides of the feet? Are you putting more weight on the ball of your feet or the heels? Adjust any tendencies of leaning so that your weight is spread out to all parts of the feet.
What are your toes doing? If you feel unstable while standing, spread your toes for extra balance and “grip”.
Additionally, you can try other poses in which you can focus on benefits for your feet, such as:
Hero Pose, Thunderbolt Pose, and Broken Toe Pose – all similar, but Broken Toe Pose, which has the toes tucked under (including the pinky toes), can help stretch along the length of the bottom of the foot.
Standing Forward Fold – Initially, it stretches and releases tension in the lower back, but as you straighten the legs, the feet, calves, and hamstrings also experience a stretch.
Downward Facing Dog – A full body stretch, the legs, calves, and feet get a great stretch.
These poses focus on improving balance and stability, strengthening the muscles around the feet and ankles, and increasing flexibility. It will help build a strong foundation in which the rest of the body will benefit. If you have questions about the condition of your feet and ankles, make an appointment to come see us at The Podiatry Group. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can assess your feet and find the right solutions for you at our Jonesboro, AR office.