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7 Yoga-Inspired Exercises for Happy & Healthy Feet

Happiness | Lifestyle

Our feet are amazing. They provide the ultimate foundation for our body and allow us to move, balance, and stay grounded. Paying attention to your feet can go a long way, and yoga is a great tool to build this attention, strength and flexibility.

When you nourish your feet, you are nourishing your body from the ground up. Keep your feet happy and healthy with these foot-focused yoga exercises.

1. Mountain Pose with Toe Lifts & Curls

Image credit: Yogo Girls

Tadasana or Mountain pose helps you feel grounded from the bottom up. Activating your feet in different ways in the pose challenges your balance and improves your awareness, tuning you into how the feet are feeling and how your balance is distributed.

Come into Mountain pose and lift the toes up, noticing how this movement affects your balance. When you lower the toes, spread them as wide as possible and press them into the mat. Begin to curl the toes toward the heel, activating the foot arches.

2. Bound Angle Pose with Foot Massage

Baddha Konasana helps you stretch the hips and relax the mind. Add a foot massage into the pose by gripping the outer edges of each foot and rubbing the soles of the feet with your thumb. Apply whatever pressure feels good to you as you move up and down the sole of the foot, rubbing horizontally and vertically. Massaging the feet is great for circulation, relieving pain and building awareness to how the feet feel.

3. Supine Bound Angle Pose with Tennis Ball

Baddha Konasana on your back stretches the hips and helps release the back. Holding a tennis ball between the soles of the feet adds an additional massage, can intensify the hip stretch and allows you to explore the dexterity of the feet. Come into the pose and place a tennis ball between the feet. Press the bottoms of the feet together, moving the tennis ball up and down between the feet.

4. Downward Facing Dog with Heel Raises

Image credit: Ania

If you are working on getting your heels to the mat in Adho Mukha Svanasana (a.k.a. Down Dog), know that your heel raise is helping to stretch your foot! Come into Downward Dog and begin “walking the dog” by lifting the heels up and down help to stimulate and stretch the foot muscles. This stretch will help strengthen the foot and help to prevent painful foot issues like plantar fasciitis.

5. Legs Up the Wall with Toe Crunches

Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karani is a restorative posture that helps to reverse blood flow and relieve tired, swollen feet. Adding “toe crunches” activates and strengthens the feet. Spend a few minutes in the pose, and then begin to bring the toes in. Hold the crunch to build tension, then release and stretch. Match the movements with your breath, either alternating each foot or doing both feet at the same time.

6. Seated Forward Fold with Finger Interlaced Toes

Paschimottanasana calms the mind and stretches the back, hamstrings, and shoulders. If you are able to grab your feet in the pose, it is a great opportunity to interlace the fingers in-between your toes, allowing space in between each. Holding this stretch and creating space can help reduce foot pain and improve circulation. If you are unable to reach your feet, you always have

the option of insert toe-spacers that spreads the toes for you.

7. Thunderbolt Pose with Foot Stretch

Image credit: Yogo Girls

Vajrasana is often used in breathing or meditation practice. Adding a foot stretch is a great way to relieve tired feet and stretch the foot muscles. Sit on your heels and gently curl your toes, allow the sole of the foot to stretch. Adjust the intensity of the stretch by bringing the hands to the top of the thighs or reducing it by bringing the hands in front of the knees.

The body is an interconnected system. When you work on your feet, you are also working on other areas of the body like your hips, legs, and abdominal muscles. Yoga is a great tool to activate the feet and strengthen the body from the ground up.

Image credit: Ania

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