November 21, 2015

Plantar Fasciitis - Foot Mystery and Mythology

By Katy Bowman, MS
Over the past 6 months I have developed awful foot pain which I soon learned is called Plantar Fasciitis. Sounds like a disease and feels like torture. As a yoga teacher I have begun encountering many female students who currently or previously had this ailment. (Similarly, many students I encounter have experienced frozen shoulder and I want to develop yoga practices that address these common ailments.)

As we share the advice we have been given by various foot experts, I keep hearing conflicting information. Keep the foot fully wrapped and supported in a hard leather shoe, with a firm sole and no ankle movement was the most popular guidance. But then I mentioned my situation to Nancy Leigh-Smith, my yoga mentor and she told me about the book Every Woman's Guide to Foot Pain Relief: The New Science of Healthy Feet by Katy Bowman, MS.

Let me tell you that this book is beautifully written, logical, fun, informative, and just makes sense. If you have your feet wrapped up in hard leather all your life, you are restricting movement and eventually, you can end up with foot pain - as I have now. But if you begin to liberate and enliven your foot and toes you will have a happy foundation.

Instead of avoiding being barefoot, as so many experts advised me, I am now teaching my toes to work, collectively and on their own. The pain is dissipating and I am integrating many of these exercises into my yoga practice. Thank you, Katy and Nancy!