Oh feet! So taken for granted, so often neglected, although… maybe not quite so much anymore after the book ‘Born to Run’ and the modern day advent of barefoot running. With the arrival of huaraches and other minimal shoes (make your own here), there are now plenty of ways to become more aware of the soles of your feet.
The focus of Monday night’s Yoga for Runners class was feet. Yoga has so much to offer the runner when it comes to keeping our feet happy! The muscles of the feet do become inactive if housed in shoes all day, and yoga (bare foot, or at least in toe-sox,) is a great way to reactivate them. Active feet are responsive and feel light – and for anyone active out there, staying light and nimble on our feet is the ultimate goal.
Here’s a quick run-down of what we did:
Mountain Pose – Tadasana – standing up straight, feeling the foundation our feet create, toes together, hands by the sides.
Mountain Variation – Samasthiti – sensing the difference of the standing foundation when the feet are slightly apart, hands together at the chest in prayer position.
Cat-Cow – to warm up the spine, moving into Childs pose, and then Downward Dog (taking time to massage the toes into the ground, and alternately stretch each foot).
We then moved through a sequence of standing poses (to build feet and leg strength and improve balance and coordination): Tree, Eagle, Triangle, & Warrior II (see an instructional video here).
In each standing pose the legs and feet were working hard – but the toes were relaxed – they were not gripping the mat.
Next were a sequence of seated poses to focus on the hips, knees and feet. And after a few gentle twists, and some inversions (Shoulder Stand) the final pose of the night was of course Corpse pose – Savasana, when our feet could finally relax!
Unfortunately there were no pedicure technicians, or fish-feet spas on hand to provide the extra finishing touches to the class – but the focus wasn’t beautiful feet, and strangely enough I don’t know many runner/ foot-models…
Next time you step out of the door for a run, think about your feet. Keep them happy, keep them relaxed. Be like Jack, nimble & quick!