why improving in yoga starts at the base


Each day our feet carry the weight of us through our routines. They support us through our lengthy walks with our dogs, our occasional runs, our late nights out dancing with friends and our much-needed yoga sessions the day after. As one of our most used body parts, it is a surprisingly neglected one.


Before shoes were a part of our daily routines and a societal norm, people used to be barefoot all of the time. Being barefoot made our toes dexterous and our feet more agile and powerful than they are today. In yoga, some people can experience discomfort due to its surprising reliance on the feet and individual toes. Your feet serve as the foundation for poses and can have a huge impact on how you improve.




There are ways to get back to the days of nimble toes and strong arches that don’t require you to go to the office barefoot. When you are first starting out in a class try and focus on how you’re holding your weight, especially in standing poses. Are you relying mostly on your heels or do you tend to balance on the balls of your feet? Try to understand your natural stance to see how you can improve it for stability.

Before a class, warm up your feet. Give your arch a good stretch and grab between your toes. Take a tennis ball and roll it under your arch through to your toes. Little exercises like these can have a lasting impact when done consistently. Yoga Journal names a few poses that target your feet specifically that you can practice to improve performance.

When you’re not in a class, think about how you’re treating your feet. If you are someone who likes to wear heels to work or another form of restricting shoe, your feet need the opportunity to breathe, stretch and recover from that stress. You invest in the best yoga mat, softest leggings and most breathable tops, so you should be investing in your feet too.






Get a pair of shoes for your leisure time that actually work with your feet and support you. A tried and true choice for yogis are the mahabis slippers, which have removable soles and can transition from indoor to outdoor. The soft, breathable material and durable insole will comfort your feet in and out of the studio.

As yogis, we are always looking to enhance our practice and that starts at your feet. Invest in proper footwear, spread those toes and work those arches to gain the strength you need to grow your abilities.


photos: unsplash, @sazza15


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