Physical Therapy and Yoga: Use yoga to strengthen your feet
How does yoga strengthen feet for running? Runners and non-runners alike have been talking about barefoot running and minimal running shoes in the past few years. You may find yourselves asking if barefoot or minimal running is right for you and the answer is… maybe.
Some people simply do not have the strength or alignment for this type of running. Abandoning your shoes would just lead to more pain and suffering. Most often people can tolerate some barefoot or minimal running as long as they transition slowly. This can be a challenge for seasoned runners (say, those used to running 3 or more miles per outing) who are eager to dive in. A gradual transition, however, is critical in order to avoid strain and injury.
The stronger your feet, and the greater your awareness of your foot position and alignment they better results you will have running no matter what type of foot wear you use. Come into tadasana. Can you feel the ball of your big toe, little toe, and heel? Think about how much weight is going through each point? Gently shift your weight from one part of the foot to the other.
Stuck in line at the grocery store? Bring your attention to your feet. Stuck in line at the airport? (even worse!) Bring your attention to your feet. A full yoga practice will help to improve mindfulness and strength in multiple positions allowing for stronger, smarter feet for running, and for life.
~ Alison Aiken