Yoga for Bunions
For yogis, bunions can cause discomfort and instability in standing poses. When bunions become advanced, they can cause pain and limit mobility. These yoga poses will help you forget about the bunions.
- In order to create space between scrunched toes much as toe separators do, try this stretch, with your left ankle still crossed over your right knee.
- Bring your right palm toward the sole of your left foot, then interweave the fingers of your right hand up through the spaces between your left toes, using your left hand to help you separate your toes if necessary.
- Place your left hand on the side of your chair seat, lengthen your spine, and hold here for several long, deep breaths.
- Untangle your right hand from your left toes, bring your left hand over the top of your left foot, and slide the fingers of your left hand through the spaces between your toes.
- Move your right hand around the side of the chair seat, lift up through the crown of your head, and hold here for several long, deep breaths.
- Release, change the crossing of your legs, and repeat the toe mobilization and the handshakes on the right side.
Seated Toe Abduction With Yoga Strap
- While seated on a chair, place your resistance band around your big toes (if you don’t have a band, use a looped yoga strap, or even a very strong hairband). Sit on the edge of your chair and lengthen your spine. Ideally, your feet will touch the floor comfortably. If they don’t, place blocks or other supports underneath them.
- Keeping your feet parallel to each other, move them far enough apart that the band becomes taut and pulls the big toes toward each other.
- Curl your toes down into the mat slightly, rooting down with the tips of all your toes (including your big toes), in order to lift your inner arches and inner ankles. Hold here for several deep breaths.
- Relax your feet, allowing them to come closer together while you take a breath or two. Repeat the toe stretch a total of ten times.
- Still standing with your toes pointing forward, root down through your heels. Lift all your toes, and spread them. Keep them lifted and spread for one to two breath cycles.
- Slowly lower your toes back down. See if you can keep them apart enough that you can see the color of your yoga mat between your toes.
- Try to relax your toes as you root down through the balls of your feet and your heels (ideally your toes will not be turning white or creasing).
- Slowly lift and lower your toes at least ten times.
- Standing in tadasana with your arms at your sides, feet hip-distance apart and parallel, lift your right heel, bending your right knee as you inhale. As you lift your heel, be sure to keep it directly behind your toes (instead of letting it veer in or out).
- Exhale and lower your right heel, aiming to lower your inner and outer heel at the same time, so that your heel is “centered.”
- Switch sides, lifting each heel at least ten times.
- For more of a challenge, lift both heels as you inhale, keeping your legs straight, and lower both heels as you exhale. Do this ten times.
- On your tenth repetition, hold your heels up for a few deep breaths before lowering your heels back down.