A one day yoga workshop, with lectures, was held in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Feet are the foundation to the body and we all want feet that are attractive, well manicured, strong, and free of any embarassing foot problems. Standing in mountain pose, or flexing our toes in seated forward bend, gives all studying and practicing yoga ample opportunity to focus on the feet. Foot care is not something we do most of the time, but when a yoga instructor directs our attention to our feet, we’re often unpleasantly surprised.
The American Podiatric Medical Association has come out with a study that eight out of ten adults in America do or will suffer from some kind of foot problem in their lives. Foot problems often go unnoticed until a callus thwarts our stance, i.e., in triangle pose, or foot odor becomes a source of embarrassment. Simple home treatments can both treat and prevent common podiatric problems. With 250,000 sweat glands your feet can produce as much as eight ounces of sweat daily. Athlete’s foot is a big problem and challenge for many people. This is an itchy condition around the toes and is considered the most common fungal infection in this country. Athlete’s foot can be picked up anywhere, even if you’re sharing a yoga mat, so consider bringing your own mat at all times.
Geranium oil and tea tree oil both have germ and bacteria killing properties, making them excellent treatments for your feet. Add these oils to your own creams and powders, or look for products containing them as a key ingredient. Keep your feet clean and dry, especially between the toes where moisture can get trapped, as athlete’s foot germs thrive in damp environments. Corns and calluses are not contagious but can cause a lot of discomfort as well. Use a wet pumice stone to slough off extra skin, or purchase foot creams that contain ground pumice for smooth, soft feet.
Another tip is to add fresh or canned pineapple juice to your footbath. This tropical fruit contains bromelain, a natural enzyme that will help soften calluses and rough heels. Sage is a common kitchen herb, which is anti-inflammatory, and offers antiseptic benefits. Lavender is a fragrant antiseptic that helps kill germs and is beneficial as a foot spray when coupled with witch hazel. Peppermint contains menthol, which cools and calms the skin and the muscles. Pay attention to your feet and take care of them; remember, they are the foundation to your body and even building a home starts with a strong foundation. Try tree oil liquid foot powder, foot revival soaks, and foot balm. Healthy feet keep you feeling well as you practice yoga, run, jog, or cycle.