Why practice yoga barefoot?

Practicing yoga barefoot makes your feet stronger and more mobile, but this is only part of the answer.  Awareness and alignment are often the overlooked answers as to why yogis practice with naked feet.    

Yoga requires you to bring awareness to your feet in practically every pose.  The foundation of many asanas (yoga poses) start with the feet so a barefoot practice will make it easier to notice how the soles of the feet feel, from heels to toes, as they spread into the mat.  For instance, in Tadasana notice if you spread your weight evenly into your feet or do you put more weight on the inner vs. outer edges.  In balancing poses, notice how rooting all corners of the feet into the mat gives you more stability and greater connection to the ground below.  With shoes and socks on, awareness of the feet is almost non-existent.  Additionally, confined feet make it very challenging to flow smoothly from one pose to the next. 

Healthy alignment is key to a healthy pose.  Practicing barefoot you’ll become not only more aware of your feet but a better judge of your alignment in asanas.  You’ll have a better feel and view of your feet in relation to your knees, hips, etc.   Remember, everything starts with the feet.  If you’ve ever visited an orthopaedist for knee pain, the first thing he does is take a look at your shoes.  The feet can tell a story…how a person moves, stands, etc.  Healthy feet are central to healthy alignment.    

Think of yoga as a vacation for your feet.  Let them be free.  Your body will thank you.     

2 responses to this post.

  1. Hi,

    HealthYoga.com is a Yoga Social Network for both the consumer and professional public. The sole purpose of HealthYoga.com is to offer a free outlet to the public for those seeking advice on a variety of yoga related topics from professionals. It is the only social network of its kind, directed specifically towards those in the yoga field with chat and web cam capabilities. I have come across your website and have noticed you link out to great resources online, we would love to be included within the list of great resources you acknowledge online. I appreciate your time and await your response.

    Please email me back with your URL in subject line to take a step ahead and to avoid spam.

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  2. Posted by Kerry Dolberg on January 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I just read your article on why one should practice yoga barefoot. I believe that it is also important to be connected to the earth to share energy. I am wondering if you have an opinion on this?
    Thank you,


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