Dr McNeill tries a yoga challenge. Here is her account of her experience and what she learned about her feet!
I recently took on the 30 class in 40 day challenge at Yoga By Degrees here in Elmhurst. I can honestly say its been very eye opening! After just a week (yep ONLY 7 days in!), I am surprised at the way my body has changed, by how much calmer I feel, and how much I can't wait to get on my mat everyday. But as a foot doctor, I am most shocked by how much I am learning about my foot. Here are a few things I have learned:
There are a few AWESOME poses to stretch your feet! Toe squat and I have a love hate relationship. This is one where you sit on your feet but they are flexed underneath you. I can only stand it for about 30 seconds and after that I really have to breath to get through it. Try it if you are plaqued by plantar fasciitis!
Downward Dog rocks! If you want a great all in one stretch to get the hamstrings, calf, achilles and bottom of the feet this is it! While I still don't see how this is a 'resting pose',I can not believe how much closer to the ground my heels are just after 1 week!
Balancing poses could keep alot of you out of my office :) But seriously my instructor on Saturday (who I loved BTW and if you ever have a chance to take a class from Todd...do it!) said that lack of balance and falls are the main reason older people end up in skilled nursing facilities, so true! But for those of us who can't even think that far ahead, you will save yourself a bunch of injuries by keeping the smaller muscles in your foot engaged and strong. Things like tendinitis, capsulitis and flat feet can really benefit by strengthinging these smaller lower leg and foot muscles.
So if you are having foot pain, give yoga a try...it just might give you the daily stretch you need to get on the road to recovery. And as always our docs are always here to help you with the rest of your treatment plan!
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