Feet ground us. They are the foundation of our body, the structure on which our entire being rests. At some point all of us suffer from sore and aching feet. Excess exercise, long periods of standing, incorrect footwear, all tend to strain the foot muscle, resulting in soreness and foot pain. For the busy mom this is more so. Juggling between roles of a chauffeur, caretaker, breadwinner and entertainer, can leave even the super moms exhausted.
A massage sounds like a taste of heaven, but who has the time? Heaven would be lying in the couch at home, putting your feet up and getting a massage at the same time. Sounds like a dream? Well heaven may be closer than you think.
Yoga gives the feet a workout that they hardly ever get. It is a lovely way to reawaken tired feet. There are some yoga poses that gently massage your feet and ease the pain.
If you are too tired to exercise, try the poses at a time convenient to you. I find that the best time to do a stretch is in the evening when I am ready to just put my feet up. A little meditative or relaxing music helps to set the mood.
How does this work?
Feet bear and propel the body weight when we walk or run. A misalignment of the foot results in the wrong alignment of the ankle, knee and back as the rest of the body shifts to adjust to the change. Yoga poses provide a gentle stretch and correct the alignment, thus bringing balance to the body which distributes the weight evenly across both feet.
Here are a few poses which are beneficial in strengthening foot muscles and relieving foot pain:
Vajrasana or the Thunderbolt Pose
Vajrasana involves sitting upright with the knees folded under you, such that your a bottom is resting on the heels. The upright sitting, stretches the back and leg muscles and relaxes the feet. It is a great stress reliever. Vajrasana also heals diseases varicose veins, joint aches and arthritis and is great for curing constipation, improving digestion and curing acidity.
Adho mukha Svanasana or the Downward Dog Pose
Done on all four hands and feet with the palms and knees pressed to the ground and the body in the air such that it looks like an inverted V, this asana stretches the hands, arches, calves, hamstrings and shoulders all at once. This improves the blood flow throughout the body and improves circulation. An active circulatory system helps flush toxins, regulates blood pressure and keeps the immune system in balance.
Badha Konasana or the Butterfly Pose
The butterfly pose removes fatigue gained by long hours of walking or standing as it strengthens the foot muscles. In addition the butterfly pose also gives a great stretch to inner thighs, groins and knees, improving flexibility in the groin and hip region.
Sit with your spine erect and fold the knees so that the soles of the feet touch each other and bring the feet towards the pelvis. Flap the legs at the knees.
Tadasana or the Mountain Pose
Focus on elongating the toes to stretch the sole and press into the heels at the same time. This improves circulation and pumps blood back to your heart. It is an excellent stretch to keep varicose veins in check. Distribute your weight evenly between the big toe mound and the baby toe mound and between the inner heel and the outer heel. This creates proper foot alignment. The mountain pose and other standing poses stretch the sole of the foot and work on the feet, legs, thighs and hips.
Virabhadrasana or the Warrior Pose
The warrior pose strengthens and tones the arms, legs and lower back all at one go. It is a great pose for those sitting at a desk for long hours as it releases stress accumulated on the shoulders. The warrior pose is done with legs stretched, the right foot is at 180 degree with the knee slightly bent and the left feet at a 45 degree incline and stretched straight. The body is turned right from the waist and the hands straight up, parallel to the ears.
So go ahead and end your day with a gentle stretch to take away the day’s aches and pains.
Sabinder Singh is a Yoga enthusiast, Reiki Master and freelance writer. She has been healing with reiki through distance reiki healing showers and believes that yoga is important to bring about a balance in the body, mind and spirit. You can read more of her articles at: http://www.onboardthereikibus.com/