What can be done about Foot Cramping while doing Yoga?

What can be done about Foot Cramping while doing Yoga?


I had a client complain of foot cramping when doing some stretch poses in yoga of a cramping feeling in her feet. I have been told or read somewhere that dehydration and not enough potassium could be the culprits. Do you have any other insight or link to information I could learn more about this topic towards providing my client with something to consider learning or doing?

Answer from Justine

So many people have this issue…..including me! You are so right – dehydration is an issue, one thing you might suggest is starting her day with a glass of warm water with lemon – I do half room temperature and half almost boiling, this will help hydrate the tissues better. Not having enough potassium as well as magnesium is also a problem,there is a great supplement called ‘Calm’ by a company called Natural Vitality that you make into a drink (doesn’t taste bad!!) that helps not only this, but will improve sleep. Most health food stores should carry it (have her start slow as it can also make the bowels loose, the directions will warn her!)

It is also important to keep the calves stretched as those muscles turn into connective tissue in the feet – loosening them will help everything down the line. Below is a link to a video with poses to help.  It will take you through a version of tadasana where you rise up on the toes (forcing circulation to the feet) to warm up, followed by a stretch of the foot with a block at the wall. WARNING: IF she has pins surgically put in the feet this is a no go!!

Also, my latest addiction is to garshana (dry brushing the body, or she can do just the feet) followed by Abhyanga – oiling the feet or whole body. This gets nutrition to the tissues and will help keep them from being to stiff. Special reminder, learned the hard way – don’t rush through it, treat it like self care and self love. We are all worth that special time 🙂  Please see the handout below for info on how to do it. Remind her to start slow, if she can only do her feet – that is wonderful….then, as she gets more used to adding it into her routine she might expand to the whole body. It takes some time, but it is so worth for so many reasons!

I hope these help!!!