Get Your Students to Take their Shoes & Socks Off

  • How can we keep on bringing new ideas into our Yoga Teaching?
  • How can we learn new ways to explain or reinforce important concepts?
  • How can we get out of our own teaching rut?

I have a simple answer that takes a little work on our parts. There are two steps involved. 1) Take a class or workshop from another teacher, or watch a Yoga-related YouTube video, or read a health, wellness or exercise article/blog. 2) Take something you learned and create YOUR way to “teach” it.

Here’s an example. Recently, I filmed Justine’s Holistic Anatomy and Physiology Workshop on “The Feet” at the Soul of Yoga where she is on the Yoga Therapy Program Teaching Staff. She had so many great nuggets of information and lots of anatomical pictures.

The whole time I was thinking about how the Seniors in my Chair Yoga classes have a hard time taking off their shoes (and socks!) and doing some of the foot exercises and movements that I often offer up. They are self-conscious about their bunions, hammer toes, corns and swollen feet. Then I remembered how a few students told me they could balance so much easier with their shoes on…. and that got me thinking how they have lost confidence in their feet to work for them and began relying too much on arch supports, orthopedic shoes and the such. As Justine kept on reiterating… our feet are our foundation and we need to be in touch with them and their functions, especially as we age!

Here is my spin on one of the many tidbits that Justine shared in her Foot Workshop. Give it a try it in your next Gentle or Chair Yoga class!


What is normal foot function? Let’s find out. You have 26 bones in each foot and they help you walk and balance with ease. But using rigid arch supports in your shoes can limit the mobility of these bones and their associated ligaments and tendons. Take your shoes off, grab a kleenex and let’s explore the normal function of your feet.