Why the Feet? Ideas and Reasons for Keeping Feet Healthy

We see a lot of bare feet in Yoga classes. Panning the room, I can see swollen and discolored feet, toes that jam together, ankles that turn outward, flat feet, and toes knuckles with nobs and bumps. And then I see these same feet hold a body up in Warrior and Tree and I am amazed at the resilience of our feet!

But, if I were to ask these students about their feet, I’d hear quite a few complaints and ailments. Special orthotics are common for our demographic and it got me to do a little research on why that is. We’ve lost touch with our feet! Lifting the arch, rotating the ankle and bending the toes forward and back are quite challenging tasks for many of our students. All of these natural movement patterns are necessary to keep our feet healthy. We need our feet for walking, balancing, stair stepping, driving, tiptoeing, and so many other daily functions.  Now, I consciously incorporate more foot work into both my Gentle and Chair Yoga classes, and I learn and share some fancy footwork facts from other teachers as well! Here’s one from Carin, Chair Yoga Teacher…

I came across this little paragraph which I think is worth sharing with EVERYONE! It is from the book “Exercise and Yoga for Those with Parkinson’s Disease” by Lori A. Newell, MA.

“Before standing it is good to warm up the feet and ankles, especially if you have been sitting for a long time.  Many falls happen while transitioning from sitting to standing.  Sitting for long periods can reduce the circulation in the legs, impairing balance.  Toe lifts will restore circulation to the legs.”

Here are a few ideas and reasons why we need to keep those feet moving and staying healthy!