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Yoga and Your Health
DISCLAIMER: The author of this site is not a physician. The ideas, suggestions, references and instructions are not intended as a substitute for medical counseling by a trained medical professional. For your safety, consult your doctor before beginning your practice. Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Any fitness/yoga program may result in possible injury. All visitors to this site assume all risks of injury arising directly or indirectly from advice on this site.



Foot Diagram

Great Shoes . . . Beware!
Excellent article: High Heels Effects on the Body

Downward Dog
Downward Facing Dog

Feet parallel, four to six inches apart, and one leg length from wrists, legs straight, base of big toe pushes down, heels extend down toward mat, calves press down, draw the weight of the torso toward the upper thighs and back of the body. Quad muscles lift up to the hips, hands with fingers splayed apart, knuckles pressing down evenly, crease of wrist parallel to front edge of mat shoulder width apart, lift upper arm muscles into upper arm humerus bone, upper back presses up toward waistline and spreads apart. Head relaxes like ripe grape on a vine, eyes gaze at feet. Do not allow upper back or chest to collapse and continue to draw the weight of the body away from the wrists.

Can your favorite shoes be part of the cause of your foot problems? Absolutely! Women have four times more foot problems than men and nine times more bunions. The reason: Shoes that don’t fit properly. According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society 88% of women wear too small shoes. In Yoga the feet are the foundation or blueprint for many poses, but we often take feet for granted. Even minor foot problems can cause postural imbalance, causing hip, knee and ankle problems.

When your feet hurt it affects the whole body. Give your feet some T.L.C. Don’t wear heels higher that 2 ½”. Those great looking pointy toed 4” stilettos shoes cause your feet to slide up to the toe of the shoe, which is the narrowest part and the toes have the least amount of padding in your foot. Choose shoes with a thicker sole and make sure you have comfortable room in the “toe box” area.

Bunions: Bumps on the outside of the big toe joint caused by a partial dislocation and aggravated by tight shoe caps (the toe area of the shoe). Bunions can lead to metatarsal stress fractures.

Plantar Faciitis: Heel pain, sometimes feels like a bruised spot under the heel and can be most painful first thing in the morning. This condition is caused by inflammation of the tissue that forms the Longitudinal Arch of the foot. Excess pounding can cause it to rip off the heel bone and tight calves exacerbate the problem. Stretch the Achilles tendon and calf muscles, ice the arches to help relieve the inflammation and switch to less impact filled activities.

Morton’s Neuroma: Painful burning or numb toes. A nerve inflammation caused by excess pressure on the ball of foot or whose feet roll inward (pronation). Wear wider shoes, use high quality insoles. Switch to less impact filled activities while healing.

Stress Fractures: Hairline bone breaks caused by overuse. Soreness under your big toe and possibly radiating to mid foot. Ice, rest and anti-inflamatories can help. Take a break from impact activities and use good quality insoles.

Yoga Poses that helps with the above foot conditions are: Tip Toe Posture, Noose, Downward Facing Dog, Mountain pose.

Tip Toe
Promotes foot health by balancing on the ball and toes of the foot, while encouraging longitudinal arch strength. Helps correct inversion and eversion of feet by pressing down all four corners of each foot evenly while twisting the torso. Awareness is drawn into total postural alignment by feeling the entire body's weight distributed evenly over all four corners of the feet. Inner arches lift.