Here’s how to wake up your feet by interlacing your fingers and toes.
FIVE-MINUTE-YOGA | Perhaps we lose touch with our feet because they’re so far from our heads. How else could we shove them into narrow shoes and ignore them until they hurt?
Good yoga feet with active, mobile toes bring life to every pose. They help you connect with the ground in standing poses and pull your energy upward in inversions.
In fact, if there were just one practice you were to take on for five minutes a day, this one would give you the biggest and fastest rewards.
How To Wake Up Your Feet
Sit down on a chair or the floor. With the palm of your left hand facing the sole of your right foot, interlace your fingers and toes all the way down to the webbing. It helps to pull on your fingers with your right hand, as though you were milking a cow.
Squeeze your fingers onto your foot, and press your toes back toward your right knee. Then squeeze your toes onto your left hand, curling your toes toward your knuckles.
Take your left thumb to your big toe mound and press down, so the sole of your right foot faces the ceiling. Then, with the little finger side of your hand, press the little toe side of your foot, so your sole faces toward the floor. Release your fingers and compare feet. One will be pink, healthy and glowing; the other, not so much.
Then change sides.
3 Tips To Improve Your Move
1. If you add toe work onto your regular practice, do it at the beginning to feel the effect on your standing poses. If you’d rather find a slot in your daily routine, try the bathtub, where soapy water will ease the fingers into place. Or make it a habit to spend five minutes with your feet whenever you sit down to read or watch TV.
2. Expect some discomfort at the beginning; it will ease as your feet become more flexible.
3. If there’s just too much pain to work your fingers and toes down to the webbing, try using the foam toe separators sold for use in pedicures. Or use pencils, which are thinner than most fingers.
Be patient and keep at it. Your feet will thank you.—Eve Johnson
Want more? Visit Eve Johnson’s informed and entertaining blog myfiveminuteyoga.com for a weekly Five-Minute Yoga Challenge and other friendly suggestions for building a yoga practice.
Photo: Casey Phaisalakani