Yogi in Heels

20 08 2009

Ouch! ……

Too tight, my baby toe wants out!

Grrrrrroan….ouch, dam Minolo!   Can’t they make these darn things more roomy?!?!!

Ever walk in heels?  Or shoes that just are nothing but a fashion billboard for “cool” , yet do nothing for comfort?

You know those itsy, bitsy stilettos that shout “sexy vixen” to the world, but induce paralysis to your metatarsals.  Well heels can make you look great. They can be the perfect touch to your professional look and enhance any calf waiting to show off from under your new capris. They also seem to just rouse up these feminie girly feelings women are born with. 

But alas with every plus there often comes a minus.  And in this case its aching feet, tight toes muscles and joints, and stressed out arches.

Heels can place undue stress to not only your tender tootsies but to calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. These being the major muscles of the upper and lower legs.  High heels push the center of mass in the body forward, taking the hips and spine out of alignment.

High heels may make your legs look longer but as the height of the heel goes up so does the pressure on the forefoot. A 3 inch heel will place 76% more pressure on the forefoot alone!

Heels can create bunions and disfigure the joints in your feet.   Hammertoes are those unsightly looking gnarled toes that fail to straighten even when the heels come off.  Usually a too narrow toe box in your heels is the culprit.  Toes get squished together, causing them to bend at the joints.   Not a pretty sight nor a healthy state for your feet.

YogaLouboutin

So what does a girly, fashion savvy yogi do when heels are required for the yogi voyage of the day?

Here are some tips, info and suggestions you can try.

First of all LIMIT HEEL use for short periods of times.  Don’t wear them an entire day.  Try buying shorter heels no more than 2 inches.  A much better option is to forgo heels altogether, but that would be blasphemy for the fasionista yogis out there. 

Foot HEALTH 101:

Your feet get you from point A to B every single day.  We often take them for granted.  They carry the weight of the entire skeleton, and sometimes 2, 3 or more times your body weight.  If you run, or do high impact activities you are putting alot of stress on the joints and muscles.  If you carry heavy bags, and parcels this again places more stress on the feet. 

There are  more than 100 muscles, tendons (fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones), and ligaments (fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones)  in the foot , and 26 bones in each foot of which  14 make up the Phalanges or toes. One quarter of the bones in your whole body are in your feet!

Make TOES one of you priorities in yoga.  STRETCH out each toe , by raising them spreading them enough to see the mat between EACH TOE.  This will tell you , your on the right track.

YOGA to the rescue!

Even in yoga we often forget to use the WHOLE foot in the pose.  We may use the heel more.  BEGIN to shift the weight evenly throughout the foot.  Using all FOUR CORNERS of the foot:  big toe, little toe,  inner heel and out heels.  REALLY become AWARE of your FEET in each pose.  Press them, engage the feet by spreading the TOES each time you go into a pose. 

IN BALANCE postures, use the feet to ground yourself, and really imagine roots under your soles planted into the ground.  This will help you STABALIZE your posture throughout the flow.

IN STANDING postures our feet provide the foundation which allows all other muscles, joints and ESPECIALLY THE SPINE, to reach proper alignment.  In practice we strive to keep the spine long, and  engaged because it is the determining factor for the whole rest of the body’s alignment.

 

In SITTING postures REMEMBER THE FEET again and again.  Flex them, stretch the toes, and bring awareness to them just as if they were standing in Tadasana with all your body weight.  Often in sitting TWISTS we forget about the feet and toes.  Flex the ankles, spread the toes ( have I said that enough?) and pretend you are standing. 

Final Tip:

An AMAZING product I use and reccomend are Yoga Toes.  I am in no way affiliated with them (maybe I should be 😉 or sell these things.  So its purely my testimonial here.  They are gel toe dividers similar to the ones they use in pedicures, but specifically created to be worn while you are sitting or just at your desk.  My own yoga teacher and guru reccomended I use them even during practice, to help loosen them and achieve the SPREAD and STRETCH you often hear your yoga teacher reminding you of in class.  Its quite a different feeling when I wear them during practice.  I really feel my whole alignment change, and it allows me  to become more open and spacious in each posture.

ALSO, the fantastic this is if you don’t like them you can return them!

The company promises the following features and benefits of the product:

  • Exercise your feet to stay healthy & in shape.
  • Improve & prevent foot problems by stretching & aligning your toes.
  • Ease the discomfort of Hammertoes, Bunions & Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Recover from stress, strain & overuse.
  • Improve foot strength, flexibility & appearance.
  • Increase circulation, straighten bent toes, & realign joints.
  • Improve & reduce the aches & pains associated with poor posture.
  • You can buy them at yogapro.com and more info there for your interest. They also offer an exceptional gurantee policy :

  • Risk Free Lifetime Money-Back Guarantee!
  • Lifetime Replacement Guarantee!
  • So when your Travels require those slinky red pumps, you have no need to worry any longer. Walk in confidence knowing your inner Yogi will  stretch those toes once you manage to slip them off.  So. STRETCH , SPREAD and OPEN …stretch, spread and open, stretch spread and OPEN…. you know the mantra 😉  Happy travelling.

    Travelling Yogi

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    7 responses

    20 08 2009
    Vic

    Guess Im glad Im not a woman! Though I love heels on a girl! They are the best!

    21 08 2009
    yogaheals

    Thanks for visiting! Yes heels do give a nice look, so the key would be to not overdo it. So when a girl wants to paint the town, the sexy stilettos for a night is the way to go. We girls just have to keep the 3 inchers to a minimum though.

    Namaste

    21 08 2009
    Kat Rogers

    Great post. Sometimes it hurts to look good, but it’s nice to have yoga to balance you back out. I’m going to check out those gel yoga toes too. I haven’t seen the gel ones, but looks really comfortable!

    21 08 2009
    yogaheals

    HI there thanks so much for the feedback! Yes Kat, just remember health and well being is a balance. So the key to wellness and a fulfilling healthy life here is to not take anything to the extreme, and staying on the middle ground for the most part brings serenity!

    Namaste

    22 08 2009
    Ben and Efrat

    Ahhh wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing such great and educating information.

    Here’s the reason why Ben walks EVERYWHERE with his Orange Crocs, Summer and Winter. Comfort is so much more important…

    Yes, you are right. Nothing should be extreme. As Buddha used to call it, “the way of the middle”.

    Blessings and Love.
    Namaste,

    Ben & Efrat

    23 08 2009
    Chuck

    That was a very good article. Heels are good when someone wants to look great for only a few hours. Those yoga toes look interesting.

    24 08 2009
    Stilletto'd

    Manolo, TYVM 🙂

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