Tucked away in a cozy pair of fuzzy slippers, or enveloped in your favorite pair of kitty or pizza or funky patterned adorned socks lie your feet. Ever since kicking off those summer flip-flops months ago, those tootsies likely went into hibernation for the winter, and you haven’t given them another thought since.
As the months warm up, us ladies in particular will likely be flocking to the nearest salon to get our pretty pedicures. And while that’s a wonderful part of self-care, beyond the aesthetics of painting our toenails, foot care for both men and women is a vital part of saucha (cleanliness).
This is your reminder to take care of those appendages that make life easy when they’re healthy and miserable when they’re not. If you haven’t had foot injuries or surgeries, believe those of us who have - when the paws are on the fritz life is a whole different experience.
One of the benefits of a yoga practice is that you bare your feet every time you come onto your mat. You feel the soles and tops and sides of your feet root down. Your drishti (gaze) settles on them from time to time. Through the senses of sight and touch, you make a connection with your feet every time you practice.
Through a lifetime of barefoot activities - gymnastics, dance, yoga - I’ve realized the important role that healthy feet play in almost everything I do. I’ve developed a routine that keeps my feet looking and feeling supple, strong and cared for. First, get out a large sized pan or tub. If you want to get fancy you can pick up a foot bath at any big box retailer. They are readily available and fairly affordable. Soak those babies in warm water and epsom salts for 10-20 minutes. Add eucalyptus or lavender essential oil to the water for an extra treat. Use an exfoliator to smooth your skin. Push back the cuticles on the toenails. Rinse and dry off, then moisturize with a heavy duty lotion. Apply oil to the nails - any kind you get in the cooking section will do. Slip on a pair of socks before standing up, so you don’t slip on the floor. Repeat weekly or as often as you like. Relish in the feeling of fresh, clean, softened feet. Ah, now back to yoga.