Show your feet some love with these tips + 2 easy DIYs
Across earth and pavement, up mountain paths, through forests, or dancing across festival grounds… they carry you through life. Our feet are our foundation and we put them through the ringer — shoved into hiking boots and sneakers, killer heels and sandals and platforms — expecting everything from them, often giving very little in return. Sadly, my feet are usually the last thing I think about at the end of a long day. Sure, they may ache or feel cramped, my arches at times screaming for attention if I wore the wrong shoes that day, but I’d rather throw myself into bed when the sun sets than set aside the 10 minutes it takes to stretch my feet out. Why is this? Why, though they certainly cause me the most aches and pains, do my feet take a backseat when it comes to wellness? Our feet are what connect us to the earth, literally rooting us to the ground, it’s high time we returned the kindness.
According to some studies, 7 out of 10 people will experience foot pain at some point in their lives, and often that pain will trigger problems elsewhere in the body. Back, hips, legs, neck… our systems are connected, sending constant signals to each other, when one of those signals is ‘ouch’, our entire structure can feel misaligned. If you’re feeling achey, treating your feet to some love might be the answer to relieving pain in other areas. One of the most effective techniques to treat foot pain, stretch tendons, improve stability, and ease tension is through yoga. Simple poses — like chair pose, down dog, extended triangle, tree, and mountain pose — allow for a full range of movement, letting our toes stretch and articulate, massaging the heels and the balls of our feet, and stretching the arch. Pressing the four corners of our feet firmly and squarely into the ground, feeling the deeply rooted connection between body and earth, brings alignment to the self both corporeal and spiritual.
With green grass sprouting from the ground outside our windows and the season of bare feet nearly here, now is the time to stretch and twist and gain strength in your foundation while easing the aches of everyday. Along with your yoga practice, two easy ways to relieve foot pain — and relieve stress while you’re at it — is with the two simple DIYs below. Use the soak to relieve achy feet after a tough workout or a night of dancing, then whip up the scrub to slough off rough skin and reveal sandal-ready toes while massaging heels and arches.
Detox Foot Soak
1 cup sea salt
1 cup epsom salt
1 cup baking soda
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil
3 tbsp dried lavender
Combine all ingredients in a glass Mason jar, cap, and shake.
When you’re ready to use, fill a container that is large enough to fit both feet in with hot water. Add 1/2 cup of the foot soak powder and stir to dissolve. Place bare feet in the water and allow to soak for at least 10 minutes, but for up to 30. Relax, breathe, read a book, listen to some tunes. When your time is up, pat feet dry with a clean, dry towel.
Revitalizing Foot Scrub
1 cup coarse raw sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil or olive oil
1/2 tsp tea tree oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a resealable jar and stir to combine. When you’re ready to use, scoop a small amount of scrub into your palm and massage into feet, concentrating on heels, arches, any any rough patches. Leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Store scrub in a cool place, away from direct sunlight.
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