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Easing ‘Flat Feet Pain’ with YOGA

“Having flat feet and plantar fasciitis had made my life very difficult as I could not walk much. Shammi taught me some foot stretching and strengthening exercises that I started practicing every day. Now almost after six months, not only have I resumed my morning walk routine but I have stopped using silicone heels in my shoes.” …………. Seema Kohli A new worrisome issue that is afflicting today’s adults is ‘Flat Feet’. In fact, people, with no history of flat feet, are complaining more and more about developing the said condition and of the debilitating pain associated with the same. The probable reasons are ‘tight foot wear’ which compresses the joints of the feet and ‘high heels’ which shifts the body weight onto the toes and the poor arch has to overcompensate for that. The number of hours we spend in the company of these fashion accessories is the reason why one ends up with flat feet most of the time. People who have the said condition often complain of bunions, shin splints, pain in the knees and hips. In fact, lower back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain, in some cases, may have its basis on flat feet. Checking for flat feet One of the most basic ways of checking whether you have flat feet or not is to place your wet feet, after shower or swimming on a dry surface. If you see imprint of the outer side of your foot, your arch is healthy.  If the imprint is flat, it’s an indication that you have flat feet. Yoga for Flat Feet Along with strengthening the tibial posterior, which is one of the main areas of this condition, it is equally important to work on the foundational base of the foot by ‘strengthening’ as well as ‘lengthening’ other associated muscles. Stretching & Strengthening your feet Lengthening and strengthening the area between the midpoint of the heel and the big toe mount can prove to be the most supporting tool in releasing the pain and developing the arch. Stretching between these two points will help accentuate the shape of the arch. In fact, this arch stretch is the first step of many of the standing postures in Hatha Yoga and with regular asana practice, results can be seen within few months only.  Many of my students, with flat feet, have shown tremendous improvement with this specific practice. Apart from the above, one can practice Baddha konasana (bound angle pose) and Virasana (hero pose) regularly to accelerate the healing process. Do not waste time planning a scheduled regime for the practice, just do it whenever you get a chance and just a few months, you would have overcome the condition.

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Shammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.

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