November 21, 2011

Yoga Toes

I remember in one of my first Iyengar classes, the teacher talking about learning how to spread your toes to give yourself a wider and stronger base to stand on.  The first time I ever tried to actually get my third, fourth and fifth toes to move felt nearly impossible.  Today, 4 years later, I looked down at my feet and very deliberately fanned apart all of my toes with ease. 

Why did this take so long? According to Yoga Journal, our toes have the tiniest muscles in our bodies and are often atrophied by the time we reach our adult years from lack of use.  We have abductors on either sides of our feet and these can get lazy over time and also smooshed from being stuck in tight shoes.  So I guess over the years I have consciously and unconsciously worked on abducting my toes, moving them away from each other.  It works, when I stand on my mat at the start of my practice I focus on spreading my toes and often in forward bends I will pick up my toes and adjust them so that they are straight instead of curled or turned in a certain direction.

Our feet are what carry us, propel us and balance us.  We should give them some more attention.  Next time you step on your mat or you are at home in front of the TV or at your desk at the office, spend some time with your toes.  Play with them see what they can do.  


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