Vivobarefoot Shoes and How They Support My Yoga Practice
July 11, 2014 by Meredith Holt
Yoga is primarily the union of the mind and body - and there is a lot to be said about the nuances of the practice. However, today I want to talk primarily about the physical postures (or asanas) and how wearing minimalist shoes can strengthen and stabilize yoga poses.
"Root to rise" is a common phrase used in the physical practice to remind students to have a strong foundation. A yogi needs to be firmly grounded in order to rise into the potential of the pose, and in many yoga poses that foundation is our feet. Below is the stance for Warrior II pose. The right foot is pointed towards the front and the left foot is perpendicular. Both feet are engaged, with the arches lifted- a request that is difficult to even understand if the muscles in the feet are yet to be developed. How do you lift something that you have no control over yet?
New students or students who have been wearing cushioned shoes their entire lives (like me!) find balancing poses especially difficult. Natarajasana or Lord of the Dance Pose (pictured below) is an example of a pose that asks you to balance on one foot. If the muscles in your feet lack the proper strength and development, it can be really hard to balance on one leg, nonetheless arch your back and connect with the other foot. A yogi needs to have a strong connection to its roots to build the pose upon.
I, too used to find balancing poses really difficult. They are still amongst the hardest for me. However, I noticed that they became much easier once I started wearing barefoot shoes. I simply wore my Vivo One Ladies around the city and to work, but it only took a few weeks for me to see a noticeable difference in the appearance of my feet. I always thought of my feet as narrow and flat, but was shocked to see my feet widening the more I wore these shoes! Then for the first time I started to be able to see and lift the arch of my foot- an act I honestly had given up on. Vivobarefoot has given me a fresh perspective on my yoga practice and a new sense of empowerment over my body. They have even given me the courage to start running again!
I am a yoga teacher in San Francisco, CA who wears Vivobarefoot shoes every day. I started wearing these shoes in response to a running injury- which I can get to in another post- but quickly found them reshaping my feet and supporting my yoga practice.
Stay tuned for more on yoga, healthy feet, and my journey to barefoot shoes (and maybe barefoot running?). You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram.