Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Any fashionista wearing stylish shoes that compromise comfort or person working on his/her feet for hours on end understands that aching tootsies can really get you down. Here are my favorite antidotes for relieving tension in your body, from the bottom up:
Toes Pose: Kneel with your toes curled under, and sit on your heels. Stay for 10 breaths or more. If it's too much pressure to bear, simply rise up onto your knees, but try not to abandon the pose completely. As a counter-movement, place your hands on the floor behind you, and lift your knees off the floor (you'll get a great stretch in the tops of your feet and shins). I'll be straight with you, here, this pose hurts for some people at first, but it is absolutely essential- particularly after a long run or night in sky-high heels.
Viparita Karani: My parents are in the restaurant business, so I logged plenty of waitressing hours in high school and college, and this pose saved me on several occasions. After work, I'd lay on my bedroom floor and rest my legs against the wall until my feet stopped throbbing. I promise you, this pose is damn near divine after a long day, or night.
Any Asana Can Become A Treat For Your Feet: Bring an added level of awareness to your feet in yoga class. I don't mean that you should analyze your hammer toe or the shade of nail polish you chose for your last pedicure, but really wake them up. As a teacher, I can often tell the experience level of a student just by looking at his/her feet. Fan your toes; lose their death grip on your mat, and continually redistribute your weight across your soles so that the foundation of your standing poses is always relaxed, steady, and even.
And, if all else fails, buy a pair of clogs.