< Blog < Do Yoga < 8 Yoga Feet Stretches to Do Every Day

8 Yoga Feet Stretches to Do Every Day

7 min read
a woman is stretching her leg and foot, yoga feet and yoga toe exercises
Elyce Neuhauser post Reviewer Elyce Neuhauser post Reviewer
Verified by Elyce Neuhauser
Yoga Expert, E-RYT 500, Certified Meditation Coach

Table of Contents

Yoga feet are happy feet! If you want to strengthen your foundation, not only on your yoga mat but in the way you move off of it, incorporate yoga feet poses and yoga toe exercises into your everyday practice. You might be surprised at how foot stretch yoga can enhance your standing postures and even your arm balances, leading to more overall strength, suppleness, and ease in your body. 

Stretch and tone your yoga feet with these daily moves to feel your best.

Yoga For Feet and Ankles: 5 Stretches to Warm Up

Seated Ankle Rotations ( Dandasana with Gulpha Chakra)

a woman is doing Seated Ankle Rotations_Dandasana with Gulpha Chakra_yoga feet_yoga toe exercises

This seated stretch wakes up the feet and ankles and is a perfect beginning to any practice. 

How to Perform:

  • Begin seated with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Sit up well with your spine extended and heart lifted.
  • Place your palms on the floor beside the hips. 
  • Rotate the feet clockwise and then counterclockwise for several breaths.

Variations & Tips:

  • Sit with your back against a wall for extra support. 
  • For tight hamstrings, hips, or lower back, sit on a cushion or block
  • Practice these rotations with one foot at a time, with the other foot against your inner thigh.
  • Rotate the feet in opposite directions from each other.

Downward Facing Dog with Knee Bends (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

a woman is practicing Downward Facing Dog with Knee Bends_Adho Mukha Svanasana_yoga feet_yoga toe exercises

Downward Facing Dog is one of the most foundational yoga poses. Adding knee bends, sometimes known as “walking the dog,”  is a great way to wake up the feet and ankles. 

How to Perform:

  • Begin in an all-fours position (Tabletop Pose).
  • Curl the toes under and press the hips upward until you are in an inverted “V” shape. This is Downward Facing Dog.
  • Press the left heel firmly towards the mat while bending the right knee. Lift the right heel. 
  • Keep sitting bones lifted and hips back and up.
  • Switch sides by bending the left knee and pressing the right foot firmly towards the mat.
  • Synchronize this alternating motion with your breath.

Variations & Tips:

  • Bend both knees and hold this position for a few breaths.

As this is a full-body posture, remember to press the mat away with grounded palms and active arms to engage the shoulders and to prevent collapsing the upper body. 

The Downward Facing Dog yoga pose is also among yoga arm balances for beginners.

Garland Pose (Malasana)

a woman is doing Garland Pose (Malasana or yogic squat), yoga feet, yoga toe exercises

Sometimes called “Yogic Squat,” this pose is a classic hip opener. Yet with the feet planted firmly on the ground, the posture effectively stretches the calves and ankles. 

How to Perform:

  • Begin by standing with the feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with heels in and toes turned out
  • Inhale the hands to the heart center.
  • Exhale as you slowly bend the knees to lower the hips as far as you comfortably can while keeping the feet firmly planted.
  • Use your elbows to gently press the knees away from each other.
  • Lift the crown of the head, open the collar bones, and lengthen the spine.

Variations & Tips:

  • Sit on a block for more functional mobility, but do your best to keep the weight in your feet to avoid collapsing. 
  • Place a rolled-up blanket underneath the heels if you are straining to keep them down on the floor.
  • Experiment with a wider or more narrow stance to make the pose more accessible.
  • To avoid compression of your knees, practice High Malasana, a more upright variation with a bigger angle at the thigh bones and shin bones. 

Related article: 7 Hip Mobility Exercises For a Full Range of Motion

Bound Angle with Foot Massage (Baddha Konasana)

a woman is doing Bound Angle with Foot Massage (Baddha Konasana), yoga feet, yoga toe exercises

Enhance this popular hip opener, also called Cobbler’s Pose, with a  self-massage. By manipulating and easing the connective tissue in your feet, you can provide a supple base for all of your standing poses.

How to Perform:

  • From a seated position with the legs together, bend your knees and open them out to the sides, bringing the soles of the feet to touch.
  • Sit up well, lengthen through the spine, and lift your heart.
  • Massage the soles of your feet with your thumbs. Use your fingers to rub the tops of the feet.
  • Experiment with different pressure and strokes, moving the thumbs in circles or running them up and down the foot lengthwise. 

Variations & Tips:

  • If the pose is uncomfortable for the hips, place blocks or firm cushions under the thighs or seat.
  • You can change the stretch sensations at your hips, thighs, and lower back by moving your feet closer or further away from the body. 

Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)

a woman is practicing Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana), yoga feet, yoga toe exercises

This basic pose is a great starting point for improving mobility in the ankles and feet while offering a place of pause for meditation before and after more intense poses.

How to Perform:

  • Begin by kneeling on your mat with the tops of your feet down.
  • Settle the sit bones onto your heels.
  • Rest your palms on the tops of your thighs.
  • Keep your spine long, heart lifted, and shoulders down.
  • Soften your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath.

Variations & Tips:

  • For a deeper stretch, lean back and place the palms behind you.
  • If your knees are sensitive, place a firm blanket underneath your thighs, snuggled into the crease at the back of your knees.

3 Yoga Toe Exercises To Deepen Your Practice

Toe Squat (Vajrasana on Toes)

a woman is practicing Toe Squat (Vajrasana on Toes), yoga feet, yoga toe exercises

This variation of Thunderbolt Pose elevates the intensity with a deeper stretch for the toes.

How to Perform:

  • Begin in Thunderbolt Pose, with your toes curled under. (You might have to reach back and fold the pinky toes under.)
  • Take slow deep breaths as your body weight enhances the stretch in your feet. 
  • To exit the pose, shift forward and place your hands on the ground in the Tabletop. Release the tops of the feet to the mat and gently tap them to counter the stretch.

Variations & Tips:

  • Release tension from the toes by placing the palms on your thighs or out in front of you, and hinging slightly forward.
  • Intensify the stretch by leaning back and placing the palms behind you.

Fingers Between Toes

a woman is massaging her feet putting Fingers Between Toes_feet yoga, yoga toe exercises

Create space between the toes with this stretch that will release tension any time of day.  

How to Perform:

  • Begin in an easy seated pose or cross-legged seat.
  • Thread the left fingers through the right toes.
  • Move your hand forward and back or in circular motions to stretch around the toe joints and the ball of the foot. Enjoy any gentle motions that feel good.
  • Repeat with the other foot.  

Variations & Tips:

If your feet are tight, practice placing one finger at a time between two toes.  

Chair Pose on Tiptoes (Utkatasana)

a woman is doing Chair Pose on Tiptoes (Utkatasana), yoga feet, yoga toe exercises

Сhair Pose powerfully works the hips and glutes. This version will also challenge your toes while improving balance and concentration.

How to Perform:

  • Begin in Chair Pose with the arms stretched overhead.
  • Raise the heels and put your weight into the toes as you lift the chest and lengthen the spine.
  • Bring awareness to your breath as you hold this pose.

Variations & Tips:

  • If your shoulders are tight, bend the elbows and widen the arms, or bring the palms to the heart center.

After this toe stretch yoga practice, keep things flowing with YogaGo, a yoga app where you’ll find a variety of yoga sequences, pilates workouts, and stretching sessions to tone up your body and calm your mind.

Final Words

Yoga for feet improves your practice and everyday life, creates more flexibility, and provides you with more ease by opening the connective tissue which extends all through the body.

  • Yoga feet exercises are simple and quick and can be done every day. 
  • Enjoy yoga feet and yoga toe exercises on their own or combined with a full yoga sequence. We recommend trying this 15-minute Yin Yang yoga sequence.

Your feet are your foundation — create a strong, steady, and supple base for your practice and your life with yoga for your feet and toes every day!

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

We recommend reading