Is it for some yoga-cliched reason like "so you can feel grounded throughout your practice" or perhaps something chakra-related? The question ends up lingering in the back of your mind for the rest of the class, and you start to focus on your feet more than ever.
You soon realise, those pretty (definitely not mine) little babies, are actually quite useful for lots of yoga stuff. They're a strong foundation. You can be more bendy with bare feet too (no shoes to cramp your style or hinder your foot bones). And as for some of the corporate ladies, that arch which has been cooped up in tight stiletto heels all day, gets to lengthen and uncurl. Ahh...
Shoes are a little bit clunky (and really don't let your foot stretch out to its fullest potential), and socks are a little bit slippery. Neither of them allow you to do one of the most important things on your mat either - BALANCE! Yep, those wriggly little piggies on the end of your feet allow you to counteract and correct any movement or shifting of weight. They grip the floor, when your hands aren't quite enough, and when you're standing on one leg. The balls of your feet, heels, arches and toes, are stronger when they're all together, working as one.
Think about it. Did you learn how to walk wearing shoes or socks? I doubt you'll remember (and if you do, wow!), but babies practice their first steps with barefeet - spreading their toes, rocking their feet from side to side and slowly but surely feeling it out! Practicing yoga naked (on your feet) gives you and your body its best chance to nail those new poses that you're learning in just the same way. So don't feel self-conscious about your unpedicured toes. They're there for a reason! Make them stronger, and your yoga practice will get stronger too.
Stretch Yoga Blog
Just like you we are constantly learning about yoga, health and wellness. We love sharing our knowledge, musings and favourite healthy recipes - let us know what you think!