The Toes Knows

Happy Feet
by Tracey Rich

Are you hard on your feet? One of the suggestions I share with students when learning about the art of standing and the asana of tadasana, is to pick up the shoes in their closet and notice the way they walk through the world. Most shoes will be visibly worn in the same pattern, pair after pair. It's good feedback, and enlightening. Our feet are so often overlooked, even in asana practice. Thinking about your feet, unless they bother you, is something some people rarely do. But, we need to. We need to take care of our feet.

Toes, balls of your feet, arches, heels, Achilles, tops of the feet, bottom of your feet, insides of your feet, outer edges of your feet, ankles--this sounds like the beginning of a savasana. The feet are a work of wonder. They are a feat of architecture and evolution. There are twenty-six bones, thirty-three joints, one hundred and seven ligaments and nineteen muscles that make up your feet. That's a lot of architecture. That's a lot of foundational structure on which so much rests.

Keeping your feet fit and happy, mobile, flexible and strong with simple movements is essential to keeping your whole body happy. Honoring the feet that carry you through life with loving attention in asana and out on the street will change your practice, and perhaps, even your life.

Asanas for your feet

  • Scrunch and release your toes from a sitting or standing position
  • Rotate your ankles several times both directions
  • Move just your little toe without moving the other toes
  • Balance on the balls of your feet with arms over head. Same position twist right and left
  • Downdog
  • High Lunge
  • Low Lunge
  • Standing Poses are all about the feet