At Fierce Grace Brixton we know that our feet are our foundation whether we are standing, walking, or running. With over 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles from the ankle to toe, our feet are our primary means of both balance and mobility and are essential for a good hot yoga class. Start doing a whole lot of poses with no attention to your feet in a yoga class and suddenly many will experience pain or soreness in their shoulders and back. That’s when a FGB teacher knows we need to pay more attention to our feet.
Generally in Fierce Grace yoga classes, we have two distinct, active choices in regards to our feet: to flex or to point. Though there is one more often thrown in the mix and that is the “foint” – a curious (yet perhaps useful) combination of the two.
A flexed foot is one where the heel is actively pushing away from the body as the top of the foot pulls up and into the body. It is an especially important action any time the knee extends beyond the ankle, as it does in utkatasana (chair), pasasana (noose), and virabadrasana (warrior).
Active flexion can also be found in the seated postures, where the hamstrings don’t have to bear the weight of the body, like dandasana and marichasana c. The other seated postures call for a more natural flexion.
Pointed toes are actually pointed feet, so this term is a bit misleading. Hence, the “foint” which is an extension of the foot, leading with the ball instead of the toe. In other words, it’s a point but with the toes spread and flexed back.
Pointing is the opposite action of flexing, as the toes now actively push away as the heel pulls up and into the body. Perhaps the most obvious place to point is in inversions, as toes reach for the sky, pulling you up, away from the ground. This same concept applies to arm balances. These include postures like bakasana (crow), tittibhasana (firefly), and mayurasana (peacock).
Keeping the importance of these foot stretches in mind will mean you get the best benefits of any FGB yoga class.