Whether you’re a runner, a regular walker or someone who just spends a lot of time on their feet or wearing high heels, these stretches will help to alleviate the tired muscles in your tootsies.
Our feet are often at the bottom of our priority list when it comes to stretching, but they literally carry the weight of our body around all day – often in shoes that are not designed to be worn for so many hours at a time.
These five yoga-based foot stretches are great to add into your stretching routine or to help ease tension in your feet after a long day.
Yoga Stretches For Your Feet
1 Spread Your Toes
Not a position exactly, but something often practised in yoga is the act of stretching out your toes widely and then planting them down on the ground one by one. This can be done while standing or even when you’re seated at your desk. Start by placing your feet parallel to one another on the ground. Spread your toes as wide as possible and slowly place them firmly down on the ground. Lift your toes up and repeat. This will feel great after a long day on your feet or night in heels.
2 Tree Pose
While standing with your toes spread wide and your feet firmly pressed into the floor, slowly begin to lift one foot and place it onto either the calf or thigh of the opposite leg. The foot on the ground (standing leg) needs to keep you balanced and thus presses into all its corners. Hold for 10 breaths or 30 seconds and change sides. Repeat two to three times.
3 Reclined Rock Pose
This pose helps to stretch the toes and tops of the feet. Come to a kneeling position with the tops of your feet on the ground. Sit on your heels so that your sit bones press into your feet. Place your hands behind you with your fingers pointing towards your toes. Press into the palms of your hands and elevate your knees off the floor. Breathe here for 10 breaths and then lower before repeating another two times.
4 Flex And Point
Sitting down on a mat or carpet, stretch your legs straight out in front of you. You can even do this lying down. Flex your toes up towards the ceiling, as if you are pressing your feet flat against a wall and hold for a breath, then point your toes, squeezing them, and hold for a breath. Repeat 10 times. This movement will help relieve swelling in the ankles and activate the lower leg muscles.
5 Bound Angle Pose And Massage
A great way to end your stretch: sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to open as wide as they comfortably can. Holding onto each foot, gently massage the arches of your feet with your thumbs.