Sometimes, spreading my toes is not enough. It can get me through a boring training where people are paying kind of a lot of attention to me (even if it’s mostly not to my feet), but at some point — particularly after walking around in non-walking shoes all day, I am going to want some additional foot stretching.
The exercise in this video (via Expert Village) is one of my favorites:
Despite the fact that it’s categorized as office chair yoga, I’m not going to lie: My favorite place to do this one is while I’m reading in bed. It’s kind of a nice thing to do to release tension in my entire body as I’m getting ready to sleep.
Pointing my feet and toes together stretches along the front of my ankles and shins, a place on me that’s tight from years of horseback riding and now running.
Pointing my toes while flexing my feet releases the tops of my feet, a place that’s sometimes tight from wearing flip flops or dress shoes.
Flexing my toes and my feet stretches into my calves and — if I engage my heels strongly enough — my hamstrings, both muscle groups I use during yoga and running.
As for pointing my feet while flexing my toes? That is like exponential toe-spreading. It relaxes the whole of each foot, underside and on top, and is more than enough to start moving energy or endorphins or whatever all throughout my body.