I am what could be called a barefoot yogi. I like going around barefoot and enjoy the connection with earth, as much as I can. I do barefoot yoga, barefoot running, barefoot skipping, and all other kinds of exercises as long as I am indoors or in a nice, clean park. Unlike other forms of exercise, like running or cardio, which are generally practiced with trainers or sports shoes, most yoga instructors advise their students to practice yoga completely barefoot. Barefoot yoga is not just about tradition or respect to Yogdharma, it has many reasons and benefits associated with it.
Top 5 Reasons To Do Barefoot Yoga:
Here are the top 5 reasons why you should be performing yoga barefoot:
1. Stability And Balance:
Feet form an important part of yoga. Most of the yoga poses require us to have our feet firmly in contact with the ground. This is important for maintaining the stability and balance of the body while practicing a yoga pose. The absence of good grip, stability and balance can lead to injury. Furthermore, the feet are considered to be the foundation of any yoga pose. Shoes not only limit the movement of our feet but also interfere with the proper alignment of our feet, which is essential to get the pose right. Improper alignment of the feet leads to wrong posture of the body, which causes immediate external injury and internal injuries in the long run.
2. Strengthening The Feet:
Doing Yoga barefoot help in strengthening the feet and improve the efficiency of our movement while treating many issues related to feet, knees, and legs. Shoes interfere with the proper movement of feet, preventing them from stretching, flexing, and expanding. They have a cushioning effect which leads to loss of flexibility, mobility and stability. Wearing shoes all the time results in weaker feet. Our feet consist of a whole network of nerve endings and acupuncture points. When we practice yoga barefoot, we connect different parts, points and nerve ending with the floor. The movement of joints, points and muscles leads to the strengthening of the feet.
3. Energy Flow:
Yoga is not just about aligning the body in some yoga postures. It is about the unity of mind, body and soul with the earth and the universe. When you perform yoga barefoot, your body makes a direct connection with the Earth. You must have heard or seen how people who remain barefoot most of the time are more energized and vibrant. The reason is that they soak up the energy from the earth. This is one of the reasons why the body feels more energized after a yoga session than any other exercise and doesn’t leave us exhausted.
4. Free Electrons:
There are free electrons present in the earth’s surface, which are soaked up by our feet and react with the free radicals present in our body. These free radicals when come in contact with the free electrons are pacified and calm the fire storm in the body. Studies show that this electron flow in our body also results in decoagulation and detoxification of our blood.
5. Treats Many Diseases:
Benefits of barefoot yoga do not limit themselves to just our feet, but affect our overall health. Barefoot yoga helps in curing insomnia, relieves muscle tension, treats headaches, boosts metabolism and strengthens our immune system. It is also known to help women with PMS and other menstrual issues. The connection with earth energizes and calms the body. It also helps to treat knee related issues. People often try to treat their knee issues by practicing yoga, which affects hip muscles or the core more than the knees. The approach is faulty. It should be remembered that most leg issues and especially knee issues, happen because of putting excessive pressure on our legs. That is why strengthening the feet is most important. Performing barefoot yoga helps to treat knee related issues as the pressure starts from the feet and then comes to the knees. Other leg related issues like varicose are also benefited with barefoot yoga.
Some Points To Remember:
Before practicing barefoot yoga, you need to remember the following points:
- If doing yoga barefoot makes you uncomfortable or puts excessive pressure on existing injuries, then it is better to buy some good yoga shoes. Some people in such cases use shoes, which are specially designed for doing yoga that allow more flexibility and breaks.
- If you practice yoga outdoors and are concerned about germs, you can use grippy socks, which allow more movement than most shoes. But keep in mind that the socks must have a good grip otherwise it can result in injury.
Going barefoot can make you feel connected with the universe. But if you are not the spiritual kind, then the fact that doing barefoot yoga has many physical benefits, is the perfect reason to chuck those shoes!
Do you like exercising barefoot? Have you found any special benefits in that? Share with us in the comments section below.