If you practice yoga, you spend a fair amount of time looking at your feet. The more often you practice yoga, the more you look at your feet, and with the arrival of open-toe shoe weather, others, too, will now be looking at your feet.
What does this mean? You need a pedicure.
Not so fast. Pedicures feel luxurious and look lovely; however, you can provide your tootsies with some of the same health benefits at home, for free. (Save your money for your yoga classes or health club membership).
Toes Pose is a very simple and potent stretch for toes and feet. It is essential for athletes, people who spend long hours standing (think: nurses, chefs, hair stylists, etc.), and/or fashionistas, who teeter around town in sky-high heels. All these activities have the potential to jam our toes and confine our feet until they cramp, contort, and ache.
I should forewarn you that although this pose is simple, it is not easy. I recommend doing it at home while you watch TV, before yoga class when you arrive on your mat, or during your home practice. Over time, it will get easier, and, eventually, it will feel divine . . .
Step 1: Start by standing on your knees, curling under all ten toes (you might need to help your pinky toe by folding it back with your fingers).
Step 2: Next, sit back onto your heels. Try to stay here for ten deep breaths. If the sensation is too intense for your feet, return to Step 1. Don't let your mind panic and become unwieldy. Your deep ujayi breath will support you.
Step 3: Release the pose by un-tucking your toes, setting your hands behind you, and lifting your shins and knees off the floor. The stretch in the tops of your feet, ankles, and shins will feel amazing . . . and keep your toes looking spacious, straight, and happy.
And, if you must splurge on a pedicure. Try Tart Deco by Essie, my current favorite color.