Written By: Sonya Genel
How are your feet today? Most folks don’t think about foot health very often, but the truth is the well-being of your feet does affect your overall health. Pain in your feet can have many causes, and you shouldn’t ignore foot pain or regard it as a normal part of life. Taking a little time everyday to understand and love your feet, can go a really long way in improving your life.
Your feet are a total marvel of engineering. Together, your two feet contain over 50 bones, more than 60 joints and 200 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that hold them together and help your function properly. It’s not surprising then that many problems can occur in your feet.
For starters, they have a pretty tough job. Over the course of your life, you put a lot of wear and tear on your feet. Simply walking around on an average day pounds them with hundreds of tons of force, and think of all the other activities that stress your feet; even your job may require that you stand or walk around for hours at a time. Your choice of exercise, like running, for example, can have an impact your feet as well.
Think of your body as a house, with your feet as the foundation. If there is misalignment in the feet, then shock of impact from regular daily activity is not properly absorbed and distributed through the body. This can be a direct cause for pain in the knees, hips, spine and even give us headaches. So what can we do?
5 Helpful tips to have healthy feet for a healthy life:
1. Take your shoes off
As often as you can, let your feet breathe! Spread your toes. Walk around barefoot on the earth (or at least around you house). Feet are designed to spread out and make micro-movements to adjust to the terrain. When they bound up in shoes and only meet flat surfaces, they become lifeless and limited.
2. Yoga for Foot Health
One of the best ways to light up your feet and use all the little muscles in them is to step on the yoga mat. Yoga poses will move your feet in many healthy ways that just won’t happen at the gym in sneakers.
3. Ignite Your Foundation
Learn to stand with feet parallel, lift your toes, and lift the arches of the feet as you do in Tadasana, Mountain Pose. Then try to put your toes down one at a time in this order: Big toe, pinky toe, fourth, third, and second toe. Try it a little every day!
4. Soak Your Feet
A hot foot bath with Epsom salt will help increase blood and lymph flow in the feet, drain toxins, and soften tight painful tissues.
5. Massage Your Feet
Giving your own feet some love is a wonderful gesture of self care. Get a little bit of sesame oil and drop some lavender essential oil into it. Rub it into the souls of your feet. Press your thumbs into the arches and any other achy point to move stiffness and bring in new life. Breath and be present with what you are doing. Your feet will truly have a new lease on life!
Sonya Genel, ERYT-500, joyfully embraces the power of yoga not only to heal and transform the body but also to heighten human consciousness and to create a radiant life. In her classes, Sonya weaves precise anatomical alignment with flowing movement. Always approaching her students with authenticity and humor, Sonya’s intention is to hold space for a direct embodied connection with Spirit. When she is not teaching yoga, Sonya can often be found drawing or painting. As an artist, she notices the profound effects yoga has on her creativity, and she has dedicated herself to enthusiastically guiding others toward enhancing their own unique life path through yoga. She brings over a decade of teaching experience to her classes, workshops, trainings and retreats. Connect with Sonya online at www.sonyagenel.com or on Instagram/Facebook @sonyayoga – check out her weekly class schedule here and her upcoming Earth Body Activation retreat in Costa Rica.