Why don’t we wear shoes in Yoga?
Shoes Shoes Shoes! Who doesn’t love shoes? Some of us like them so much we take great pleasure in having many pairs, one for each day, one in each colour, and one for each workout! But when it comes to Yoga, it’s a little different as you won’t be needing them at all.
Yoga is always practiced in bare feet, and so we often get asked why this is the case and why we need to remove our shoes prior to entering a yoga studio and begin our practice?
First of all from an entirely practical perspective, shoes capture and carry dirt, thus making the floor unclean. Since we spend a fair bit of time up close and personal with the floor in Yoga, we want to keep the space at Yoga Everyday where we practice, as clean as possible. From a physical perspective, practicing yoga barefoot gives you the feeling of stability and connectivity of your body to the ground/floor/mat. This will help you in balancing positions and also help you with alignment, meaning making sure you are activating the right muscles. All of this will help you to understand your body a bit better and in Yoga, we want to work with your body to build awareness and understanding and over time stretch out or reverse any tightness we’ve built up, from other parts of life.
This then raises the question of socks! Socks are not shoes, so can or should you wear them to Yoga? There is no right or wrong answer, and it all comes down to your personal preference. In Yin Yoga (a slower form of yoga, where you hold deep stretches for a period of time) you may definitely see people wearing socks, but usually this is a temperature and warmth preference. The slow-ness of Yin Yoga means you won’t build body heat and so it’s important you keep yourself warm, especially your extremities.
In Power Yoga or any sort of Yoga Flow, you certainly can wear socks…. ie: there is no rule against it. However, sometimes, people find that socks mean that their feet slide around on the mat, which can make the positions hard to hold. You also may miss out on some of the stability that comes from spreading your toes wide and pressing your entire toes and feet down into the floor. There are some socks with grip and some socks that have separate toes, which may help you overcome some of these little challenges, but ultimately to sock or not-sock, is entirely up to you ☺
So get your shoes off and get your toes out and hit the mat! No need to get a pedicure first or be self conscious about your toes! We all come in different shapes and sizes, including our feet and toes…..and remember – Yoga is all about self-acceptance and understanding….and a laugh or two along the way about our funny looking toes is all part of the fun! ☺
“The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.” – Buddha
We are a new Brisbane Yoga Studio, located at 39 Hayward Street, Stafford. We love having fun, having a laugh all while doing Yoga and making new friends. Check out our timetable here and get your toes out, and come along ☺