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Lets face it- we've all worn those heels for simply the sake of looking good, stood in line for hours for those concert tickets, and worn flip flops all summer for years putting stress on our arches and lower legs. Our feet have put up with it all. One of the best benefits I have gained from my yoga practice is a sense of rejuvenation in my tired feet. I never really thought about having strong or flexible feet until recently and now I work these simple poses into my practice multiple times a week.
Sit with knees bent and feet touching, big toe to big toe and heel to heel- overlapping your feet for a deeper stretch. With spine straight and hands on the thighs breathe 5-10 times. Feel the release in the top of the foot and ankle.
Start from a kneeling position and curl your toes under. Lift your knees to be perpendicular to the ground, finding your balance. With a straight back, place hands on your thighs and a breath 5-10 times- feel this great stretch in your arches and toes.
3. Downward Facing Dog // Adho Mukha Svanasana with curled toe variation
On all fours lengthen the buttocks to the sky keeping knees slightly bent and widening your fingers for support. Lift up on your toes from your core and roll toes under. Hold for 5 breathes. An easy transition into upward facing dog that stretches the top of the foot and toes.
4. Legs up the Wall // Viparita Karani
Sit with your buttocks as close to a clear wall as possible and lift legs up the wall. Engage your legs muscles slightly, flex your feet and spread your toes. Slowly relax your body and 'melt' into the floor. This pose is great for lower back pain, getting fresh blood into the legs and stretches the back of the leg.