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Yoga for Feet: 4 Yin Yoga Poses to Relax Your Aching Feet

Feet get a bad rap. They get sweaty, sometimes stink, grow calluses, and they don’t generally get much thought throughout our day after we throw on a pair of shoes. That’s why yoga for feet is so important to give our poor feet some TLC.

Our feet take a lot of abuse from our daily life. From unsupportive shoes or heels, overuse, or just the daily grind, by the end of the day your soles are likely aching. And despite all this mistreatment, our feet rarely get the attention they deserve to rest and recuperate.

Feet are the foundation of most of our yoga asana practice, as well as many activities in our daily life. So spend a few minutes to show your feet some love with some quick, feet-focused Yin Yoga poses, and you’ll find the benefits reflected throughout your body.

What Is Yin Yoga and What Are the Most Common Benefits?
 

Yoga for Feet – Use These 4 Yin Yoga Poses to Free Your Feet:

Try these four Yin Yoga poses once or twice a week to free your feet. You may want to have some blocks or a blanket ready for support.

 

1. Toe Stretch

toe stretch

This Yin Yoga pose is a perfect yoga for feet pose because it specifically targets the arches of your feet.

Let’s try it:

  • Find a kneeling position, stacking your hips over your feet
  • Use a folded blanket to add some padding under your knees if you want
  • Shift your weight forward and curl your toes under
  • Use your hands to help get all your toes pulled under, including your pinky toes
  • Align your heels and big toes so they are touching
  • Shift your weight back over the balls of your feet
  • Rest your hands on your thighs or blocks for a bit of support
  • Hold for one to three minutes
  • When finished, find Tabletop Pose, release your toes, and gently flutter kick the tops of your feet onto the mat for a few breaths

Pro Tip: This stretch can be intense! Modify as needed with props:

toe stretch modified

  • Stack one or two blocks between your feet and rest your hips on the blocks instead of your heels
  • Place a folded blanket over your heels and rest your hips on the blanket
  • Roll up a blanket and place it behind your knees before you sit back, this will keep much of the weight off the balls of your feet

2. Ankle Stretch

ankle stretch

Another perfect yoga for feet Yin Yoga pose, Ankle Stretch release the fronts and tops of your feet to stretch all the way up to your ankle.

Let’s try it:

  • Return to a kneeling position with your toes untucked
  • Place your hands behind you, either facing your feet or away
  • Bend your elbows as you slowly lean back
  • Allow your knees to lift off the mat any amount that is comfortable for you
  • You should feel the stretch across your shins and ankles
  • Keep your toes touching for the duration
  • Find a bit of length in your spine and lift in your chest
  • Hold for one to three minutes
  • When finished return through a kneeling position, then find a Staff Pose (Dandasana) for a few breaths
  • Option to complete a few rounds of pointing and flexing your feet while in Staff Pose

Pro Tip: If you experience any pain in your knees, come out of the pose early. To modify, try doing one leg at a time. Rest one leg on the floor, move your hand slightly to the side instead of directly back, and lift your other knee off the floor.

ankle stretch modified

3. Fingers Between Toes

fingers in between toes

This yoga for feet practice is an oldie but a goodie.

Let’s try it:

  • Start in Staff Pose (Dandasana) or perched in a chair
  • Bend your right leg, externally rotate at your hip, and rest your ankle over your left thigh
  • Interlace the fingers of your left hand between each toe of your right foot
  • At first it may be a bit of a struggle to squeeze your fingers between each toe but after a few breaths you may be able to slide your fingers forward a bit more, bringing the base of your fingers to the base of your toes
  • Option to take some ankle circles while leaving your fingers between your toes
  • Use a block under your bent knee for support if you want
  • Hold for one to three minutes and repeat on the other side

Craving more Yin? Do These 10 Yin Yoga Poses to Cool Down From a Power Yoga Practice

4. Butterfly Pose With Foot Massage

butterfly

Give your feet some extra TLC with a nice self-massage! This Yin Yoga pose puts you in the perfect position to really relax your feet.

 
 
Let’s try it:

  • Return to a comfortable seated position on the floor
  • Bend both knees, bring your feet together, and pull them toward your groin
  • Rest the pinky side edge of your feet on the ground
  • Allow your knees to fall open to the side, or support them with blocks
  • Lengthen through your spine and stack your shoulders over your hips
  • Grab your feet with your hands and gently turn the arches of your feet open toward the ceiling
  • Use your thumbs to massage the bottoms of your feet, starting at your heels and working up toward your toes
  • Use as much pressure as feels good, and linger wherever feels best
  • Massage your feet while staying in Butterfly Pose for two to five minutes
  • When ready, release your feet
  • Walk your feet forward slightly with your knees bent facing the ceiling, then drop your knees from side to side like windshield wipers

Practice This Juicy Yin Yoga Sequence to Release Your Tight Hips
 

Yoga for Feet – Yin Yoga Poses Can Help You Feel Like You’ve Found a New Set of Feet

You can slide this sequence in before or after a yoga class, or even at home at the end of the day while watching television.

Practice these quick Yin Yoga poses a few times throughout your week, and you’ll feel like you’ve found a new set of feet!

Need to free your knees next? Here are 10 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Knees and Prevent Injury

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