How To Avoid Cuts Under the Big Toe in Yoga
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Ever hear of "Ashtanga toe?" Trust me it's nothing like "yoga butt." If you've been practicing yoga, especially hot yoga, for a while you've probably experienced what looks like a papercut under the big toe. Something so small can be really distracting during practice.
Why Does It Happen?:
Moisture Associated Skin Damage (MASD): When exposed to excessive amounts of moisture, the skin will soften, swell, and become wrinkled, all of which make the skin more susceptible to damage.
Rough Tractions Towel: I'm so particular on this. For Manduka's
Feet are not properly activated especially in Down Dog. Notice where you rest your weight on the feet in Down Dog. If you're pushing away with the toes it might create these tears. Traction mats are awesome for the hot room. They prevent our mats from turning into a slip-n-slide. Traction also equals friction and if we're pushing on the toes or dragging the feet on the mat in transitions, we're literally rubbing skin off the bottom of the feet.
We had a too aggressive pedicure/or none at all: There's this delicate balance when it comes to sloughing off the skin on the bottom of our feet. We want to get rid of the calluses but leave enough skin so that our feet aren't susceptible to damage. Think of it this way. If we're still sliding our feet on the mat as we grow stronger we are essentially rubbing skin cells off. If we take all of the callus off, there's nothing but new skin for the traction mat to rub against. Ouchy
What Can Help?
You already these little tears? I recommend:
Band-aids do NOT help because at some stage the sweat makes them come off. Can't tell you how many band-aids I've picked up off the floor in over 30 years of practice. I use spray on bandages. The skin stays waterproof at the site of the application. If you use bandaids bring the whole box. Nothing more annoying than trying to keep a band-aid on while getting into headstand.
Wear open shoes when shoes are needed and stay barefoot at home. I wear socks. It's easier to slide around like Tom Cruise while I sing into my hairbrush #truestory.
Try to keep the site away from prolonged moisture.
Ask your yoga teacher for suggestions on how to modify your Down Dog or other poses so that you're not placing too much pressure on the toes.
How To Avoid
Transition from Updog to Down Dog very mindfully. Take time to tuck the toes under first, press the hands into mat, activate the core and raise the hips back to Down Dog.
Activate the core and legs instead of pressing the toes into and back on the mat.
Soften the knees to minimize pressure on the bottom of the feet.
Shorten your Down Dog. Usually only recommended in Hatha classes.
Curl the toes up and place weight on the ball of the and eventually the entire foot.
If you have any questions about your practice send me a message. I share what I know.
All my love,
YA 500-hr E-RYT