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