HOW TO: Toe Squat

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Our feet, are something that many of us take for granted and don’t think about much when we’re stretching or working out our bodies.  Honestly we can be really hard on them when we’re working out as well.  I’ll be the first to admit that I am rough on my feet,  I wear high heels 5 days a week for at least 9 hours a day.  I walk at least 2 miles (no not all at once) in my heels throughout the day and my feet scream at me so much at the end of the day.  When I first started practicing yoga I realized just how bad my feet really were.  Years of wearing high heels so frequently has caused extreme pain in the arches of my feet.  I notice it the most when I’m standing in balancing poses during yoga. Tree pose, Eagle, Warrior III, etc., always remind me how much my feet need some love.

I love to hate this toe squat pose.  It hurts in a “please let me out of this pose even though I need to do it” kind of way.  But I can’t complain as most of the time when I’m doing this pose, I’m teaching it so I could let myself out at anytime.  In all honesty this pose hurts in such a good way.  It stretches my tired toes and opens the arches of my feet.  If you’re like me and you treat your feet less than good, try this pose out.  Be prepared for some serious discomfort when you first start out, but know that you’ll be improving the overall flexibility and strength in your feet, so I promise it will be worth it! But as always if you are experiencing pain, take a break from the pose and maybe try it again another day.

Instructions:

Begin in a kneeling position in your yoga mat with your feet together and your hips resting on your heels.

Lift the hips up slightly and come up onto the toes, gently rest your hips back on your heels, evenly distributing your weight.

Sit with a long spine and bring your hands to your thighs or palms together at your heart’s center.

Gaze forward and try to hold for 5 deep inhales and exhales.

Modifications:

If this pose is uncomfortable for your knees try kneeling on a blanket or double your mat up to increase the cushion

You can also place a single folded blanket under the backs of your knees.

Benefits:

Opens and stretches the toes

Deeply stretches the arches of the feet

Can help relieve pain from Plantar Fasciitis

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