As I was hiking with my dog this week (we’re so outdoorsy haha), my friend and I were talking about shoes. Both of us had minimal-ish type tennis shoes, both lightweight and non-restricting. We both had previously worn orthotics within restrictive shoes. Before I began practicing yoga regularly, I had custom orthotics in my shoes to help tackle knee and lower back pain that I had been experiencing. The orthotics worked to alleviate the pain, but the root of the problem was not resolved. As we traversed over uneven terrain and rocks, the knee and back pain were a thing of the past. So what changed?

If you think of foot pain in general, it could be caused by a number of issues including poor footwear, biomechanics, posture, or alignment. Find the root of the problem and fix the symptoms. How did I help alleviate my issues? I strengthened my feet through yoga. Being barefoot, while not necessarily favored in our society, is wonderful exercise for your feet. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go gallivanting around barefoot – because we’ve covered our environment with insanely hard materials such as concrete and asphalt. My feet have evolved to support my body weight, but mostly as I float through the forest – not the concrete jungle.

Somewhere along the line, we stopped focusing on health management and went completely towards disease management. Instead of promoting health and well being, we now treat hypertension, diabetes, and physical ailments such as plantar fasciitis as commonplace. But is it true? That we must settle for a treatment of the problem instead of solving it from the source? I chose not to settle for discomfort. So why can’t you?

Take control of your body and wellbeing by participating in an exercise program that undoes the stress of the day. Do you sit at a desk in high heels all day? Then yoga with the right instructor (I may know one ::wink wink::)) can help to relieve stress and the chronically taxed muscles of your upper back, neck, hip flexors, and calves. So what’s the secret to health and longevity? Control – stop trusting others with your body and take the wheel!