Spread your toes

≤15 min. Your feet provide a steady and strong foundation for yoga standing and balance poses. In beginner classes have you noticed that it is tough for some students to take off their socks because they are embarrassed by their toes? Toes that are tightly hugging each other and crowded get stuck and may suffer from too much time in high heels or shoes that don’t fit. Pain and swelling may develop, as as well misshaped toes. If you have a loss of function and control in your toes and you cannot move your toes independently – they all seem to move on command as a group, this practice may be for you. Practice of the movements in this video enables a spread of the toes and a strong, stable foundation. In addition improvements in alignment naturally result in standing poses as the toes become more sensitive and can coordinate more subtle information and alignment cues such as “press down through the four corners of the feet” or “root down the base of the big toe and the outer heel”. Naturally these strengthening and flexibility actions of the toes are important in walking and running because the toes assist in pushing off of the back foot. To spread your toes you will be threading the fingers of the opposite hand through the webbing between your toes – it is tough at first but give it time, and be gentle as you start to spread the connection and loosen things up. Yoga poses such as vajrasana, a variation of supta virasana, parsvottansana, and lunges are included. You may need a block, blanket, and a rolled sticky mat for the practice.

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