Reasons for Practicing Yoga Barefoot

Walking and practicing yoga barefoot allows neurons in our feet to fire more efficiently which improves balance and stability. Walking on uneven surfaces and differently textured surfaces, like sand, grass, earth, rocks, foam and against forces such as wind, waves, whirlpools, inclines can stimulate the development of new neural pathways. Most shoes dull our sensitivity and limit the degree of feedback and/or the speed of neural transmission. LLD (leg length discrepancy) whether structural or functional, can also affect the accuracy of proprioceptive and kinesthetic sensitivity.

Proprioceptive/Kinesthetic input helps our vestibular system to function at an optimal level. This means we are better balanced and we can “right” ourselves when bumped, or otherwise required to make sudden movements or changes of direction. Proprioceptive input (sensations from joints, muscles and connective tissues that underlie body awareness) can be obtained by lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy objects, including one’s own weight.

Kinesthetic relates to learning through feeling such as a sense of body position, muscle movement and weight as felt through nerve endings. Dancing is an example of a kinesthetic activity.

Proprioceptive-feedback comes from sensory receptors, found chiefly in muscles, tendons, joints, and the inner ear, that detects the motion or position of the body or a limb by responding to stimuli arising within the organism. Vestibular-The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. Vertigo is an example of having a vestibular problem.

Sharon Byrnes


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