These are the changes that happen when you point or flex your toes during yoga.
You can point your toes, flex your toes, and there is also something called “yogi toes”. If you’ve attended a yoga class before, you might’ve heard your teacher giving you one of those cues. Here’s what they actually mean and do.
(Also read: 7 Tips For Women Doing Yoga For The First Time)
Shin activation with pointed toes
When you point your toes, the front of your legs are more engaged. With your shins and quads working effectively, it will be easy to engage your butt and pelvic floor muscles. This helps you to keep your body straight if you are prone to arching your back.
(Also read: 5 Calf Stretches That Every Runner Should Do)
Engaged calves when you flex your foot
Best of both worlds with yogi toes
When looking at yogis in person or through a screen, you might notice that their feet are wildly engaged, their toes splaying out in different directions. This happens because they are pointing and flexing their toes simultaneously.
This sounds difficult, but it is quite straightforward to do. Simply start by point your toes. Keeping the muscles engaged, use your mind and muscle connection to control your toes. Lifting and separating them with energy will allow you to flex your foot while maintaining the muscle engagement from the first point.
How to get used to it
It might feel (and look) funny at first, and it may even give your feet cramps. However, you will get used to it over time. It is also helpful to practise it on its own without involving your legs so you get a feel of the foot engagement first.
(Also read: Why You Should Do Yoga First Thing in The Morning)