Our feet carry the entire weight of our bodies all day long and it is important to do a little Foot Yoga every now and them to increase the flexibility and activate the muscles in your feet. Any pose that stretches the arch and sole of your foot will improve flexibility and loosen tension.
The human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. In top condition, they provide an excellent shock-absorbent and springy step, balance your body with stability, and make walking, running, and jumping motions easy and graceful.
Here are some exercises you can do to awaken your toes and massage your feet.
Downward Facing Dog is a great way to work your toes, lift the arches as high as possible, then extend the heels towards the floor to work the plantar fascia. then wiggle your toes forward one at a time starting from the little toe working toward the big toe, all while you are in Downward Facing Dog.
To help improve circulation and pumping blood back to your heart Tree Yoga is wonderful, press down into your heels at the same time you press forward with the base of the big and little toes grounding forward with the ball of the foot.
Then insert your fingers and thumb into your toe, one at a time.
Use your hand as resistance and push your hand and foot towards one another
Release the resistance and repeat, pushing a little more the next time.
Repeat 6-8 times on one foot.
Kneel and sit back on you heals with the tops of your feet in contact with the floor. Your soles will stretch and curve into a good arch underneath you. Keep your big toes and heals together so there is not gap or space between the feet. If the front of your ankles are not flexible enough to rest comfortably on the floor without a space, use a small towel to roll into a tight tube shape to place underneath, and gradually use smaller cloths until you no longer need this prop.
Sit with your back and spine straight but not tense. Let your spine lengthen upward without forcing it. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head up to a bunch of helium balloons. On your breath inhale relax and balance, then on the exhale allow your spine to lengthen and straighten, stretching gently upward.
Aim to stay in this position for 5 minutes. If this is uncomfortable or you experience “pins and needles,” you probably need a larger rolled towel beneath the front of your ankles.
Now we are going to tuck the toes so that your soles raise facing directly behind you as your toes curl away from the soles. Lower your weight slowly and gently onto the length, not tips, of your toes. This will stretch the toes and soles. Avoid stretching too hard or release too much weight. Gradually after practicing for a few weeks gently increase the stretching in the toes and soles. Reduce stretch at any feeling of strain or pain.
Hold this stretch for 1-2 minutes.