Whether you’re walking barefoot on the grass or sand, climbing mountains, paddling canoes, dancing the night away or walking to work in fancy shoes, your feet surely need a little extra attention. We often forget about foot care until aches and pains develop. And unfortunately, foot pain usually means back pain too.
Our feet are our foundation; when the feet are aligned, it’s much easier for our whole body to line up effortlessly above. When this happens, we can move and stand effortlessly because gravity is no longer a source of discomfort, but a positive force helping us stay grounded.
I first learned this foot massage sequence in 2007 at my first yoga teacher training immersion. And you know, at the time it blew my mind! After every foot massage, it felt like my whole leg was alive, which made my whole body feel happy. This little sequence saved my body during three years of waitressing and comes in handy after a long hike or too many hours in uncomfortable shoes. Plus, it’s a quick and easy way to give yourself a little TLC.
Treat your feet well, and your whole body will thank you!
Yogic Foot Massage
Repeat this sequence twice on each foot. Try standing up before switching feet to observe any differences. This massage increases blood circulation throughout the feet and legs, helps to prevent varicose veins and energizes tired feet.
1 – Sitting comfortably in an upright position, cross your left ankle over your right thigh. Be comfortable and sit in a way that you will be able to reach your toes. Use a blanket or blocks to help if needed.
2 – Using the thumb and index finger of your right hand, take hold of the left big toe and gently lift it straight up (out of the joint) and twist side to side for one breath. Then move to the next toe and repeat until you’ve done all the toes.
3 – Weave your right fingers between your left toes so that the palm of the hand and sole of the foot face each other. (It’s okay if you can’t get your fingers all the way in there.) With your toes, squeeze your fingers and then spread the fingers so that the toes spread open. Repeat five times with your breath, trying to work the fingers in deeper between the toes with each breath.
4 – With the palm of your hand, press the toes toward the sole of the foot and then away a couple of time. Using both hands, massage your foot, especially the heel and achilles. Do what feels good!
5 – Make loose fists with both hands and gently beat the soles, backs and sides of the feet for a few breaths. On the second round, use flat palms to slap the feet.