When I first started yoga in 2001 my feet were painful, my toes twisted and they had little flexibility. I remember at the time meeting a man and admiring the straightness of his toes and the space between them in his flipflops. He told me, "it is from practicing yoga." I have an unusually long big toe on each foot and as a child I was ashamed of my feet and wished that I could get the big toes shortened. When barefoot at camp other kids would point and laugh at my feet.
Adding insult to
injury, my feet always hurt and the toes overlapped each other so I had
to use cotton balls and band-aids to straighten them. Even more
frustrating was that I could not bend my toes. As I have practiced yoga
the flexibility of my toes has increased and the pain subsided. This has
been accomplished through standing on my toes, squatting, pointing and
flexing them, and using my full foot and every toe in each asana. My
balance has improved in standing poses and I bring this expansion of
flexibility and movement to my full posture in yoga, when working and in
my leisure activities.