Yoga for Tangovers

Yoga can be done anywhere, even at the Jersey Shore. The sand there is the perfect graininess for throbbing, over-danced feet. In this short video, you will recognize three basic yoga poses. The first pose is ado mukha svasana or downward facing dog. The second one is utkatasana or awkward chair pose. The third is a full lotus or padmasana. You can and should modify each of these three poses to your own level and ability. The point is to focus yoga’s nourishing and revitalizing energy on your poor tired feet. You can see how I do that. Don’t baby your feet, yoga them. I do these same poses on a mat at home, too, ah, but the sand is added inducement. A few notes for each pose:

• Downward facing dog— normally you drop your heels, but to work my cramped and tense metatarsals (or the balls of my feet) I also raise my toes, then slowly raise and lower my heels. The backs of the legs – calves and hams – get a good workout. Note that I make like a “fist” with my toes and stand on the tops of my feet. It releases the ankle — do it carefully. Even though you are pumping your feet in this normally still pose, you keep the form—tail bone (colita) reaching for the sky, floating ribs fall forward, head down and neck relaxed; spine is lengthened as you stretch through the roots of every finger. Spread the should blades, don’t bunch them. Oh, don’t forget to breathe, slow, deep, in and out. Inhale on the preparation, exhale on the execution.

• Awkward chair pose—great name for this. Notice how the pose has you standing in imaginary 10-centimeter spike heels! If you’ve ever taken a Bikram yoga class, you do this pose with no prop or support – excellent. Sometimes at home, I use a cushy sofa or side of a bed to lean my knees into. If you need further modification, sit in an actual chair and work you feet the same way. Just as downward dog worked the backs of your legs, the chair pose is also working the fronts—shins, quads, knee joints, even the big ball and socket joint known as a hip. As I indicate with my hands in the video, all poses emanate from the core muscles in the trunk. Breathe.

• Lotus – OK, unless you’ve trained for this full pose, do a modified version, sitting cross-legged with the soles of your feet facing up. It’s just as good. I give each toe a twist and smush and squeeze. Often the joints all crack. Ahhh. Take your thumbs and run them up and down the arch. Feel the chi getting unblocked.

The body is like a bag of bones that are constantly shifting. We need to put the contents back in its natural order – daily. Some people resort to orthotics, but those are simply a static repositioning of the way your foot lands. Yoga doesn’t just rid your feet of tension and toxins, it also massages all of you deeply, including all internal organs, deep tissue, ligaments—that mysterious all-important psoas muscle. It’s the best health insurance policy—the only one I own.



  1. Pj Schott says

    You are such an inspiration to us all.

  2. Pj Schott says

    Our hot, tired, aching dogs thank you!!

  3. No words needed!
    It’s the day after Hurricane Sandy (appropriate name I think).
    Wonder how much of the shore is left….
    Looking forward to more videos!