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With shoes or barefoot—what’s the best way to do yoga? Let’s find out

Published on:10 June 2021, 17:01pm IST
There are several people who believe yoga must be done bare feet. But is that true? Read on to know more.
Geetika Sachdev
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Doing yoga bare feet is not a compulsion. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Most people spend their days wearing shoes, right? Or that’s what was largely the case until work from home took over, because we’re now moving around in night clothes all day (guilty as charged). And shoes seem like a thing of the past! Anyway, let’s get to yoga — you must have seen several people working out bare feet while doing yoga right? It is said that bare feet help to enhance stability, offer more contact with the floor, while wearing shoes makes your body inflexible. There are some people who argue that doing yoga bare feet can help to strengthen all the muscles in your feet. 

But is doing yoga bare feet mandatory? 

What’s the best way to do yoga?

It is not mandatory to do yoga bare feet, but it is an ideal scenario. And it is even more essential if you have an injury or ailment that prevents you from going barefoot. There are some people who are conscious of their feet; well, you will have to get past it, we say. At the end of the day, yoga is all about embracing your body in every way. 

But is there a consensus on what we just said? Honestly, no. According to Dr Jackie Sutera, a well-renowned podiatrist, who is associated with the American Podiatric Medical Association spokesperson, doing yoga without shoes is a bad idea, depending on both your body as well as if you have taken the right precautionary measures.

You will be able to do all the yoga poses with or without shoes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“When you’re barefoot, you rely on the intrinsic or small muscles in the foot for balance. The fat on the bottom of your foot is the only cushion between your foot bones and the floor. All these small muscles are contracted and you’re exerting force with all your body weight on your feet,” says Sutera, as quoted in the media. 

Moreover, pain is going to show up, if you do yoga bare feet as a beginner. “Pain in feet can come from overuse and doing a new exercise,” she adds. In most cases, the pain will likely subside on its own over time, unless someone is already suffering from any kind of injury. But older people, especially those who have bunions or other food-related issues, are going to have a hard time. 

The most common barefoot yoga injuries include inflammation, sprains, strains, and pinched nerves. Plus, she adds that practising yoga bare foot makes a person more contagious to skin viruses. 

So ladies, you take your pick — do yoga barefoot or not —  the choice is all yours!

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.