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When did you last pay attention to your feet? Each foot is made up of 26 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance and mobility.

The soles of your feet hold more sensory nerve endings per square centimetre than any other part of your body, and by relieving tension in your feet you can help to improve the alignment of your whole body.

Feet are pretty important, but they don’t often get a lot of consideration. We’d like to change that! So here are a few quick ways to spend a bit of time looking after them

Lucien Clergue, 1966

A Yin Yoga Pose: the Toe Sit or Firey Toes
This pose is great for lengthening and stretching feet, and in doing so benefits a lot more of your body. It stimulates all six lower-body meridians – the bladder, kidney, stomach, spleen, gallbladder and liver – which all begin or end in the toes.

How to
1. Start off by kneeling on all fours. Bring your knees and feet together and tuck your toes under. Slowly walk your hands back towards your knees, resting your glutes on your heels. Make sure all 10 toes are tucked under – your pinky toes might need help. Try to centre your weight on the balls of your feet rather than all on your toes.

2. If your toes feel pretty fiery straight away, you can ease off slightly by leaning forwards. Soften into the sensations. Pay attention to where you might be redirecting tension – let your shoulders, jaw and hands soften. Keep your breathing regular.

3. Aim to remain in the pose for 60 seconds if you are new to it,
working your way up to 3 minutes.

Toe Sit

Reflexology: self-massage that promotes calm
The solar plexus is a nerve bundle in the middle of the abdomen below the diaphragm, and it’s part of the sympathetic nervous system. It’s thought that we hold tension here when we’re stressed and anxious. In reflexology, looking after the solar plexus reflex, found in the foot, is the most effective way to reduce anxiety and calm the nervous system.

How to
1. Find the Solar Plexus reflex, which sits in the centre just below the ball of your foot, where there is a slight dent.

2. Concentrating on one foot at a time and using a few drops of oil, start by creating small, circular movements with your thumb across the solar plexus point.

3. Gradually build the pressure, until it’s medium to deep. Alternate between that and pausing to apply sustained pressure in one spot for 30 seconds, releasing slowly.

Foot rolling: a really effective way of massaging your feet
Rolling a ball or foot roller under your feet will help release tightness up the entire backline of your body, as nerves that run down your legs end in your feet. This technique works well because it helps to target the many really small muscles we have in our feet. Regular foot rolling can improve mobility by loosening up the muscles, and this has a knock-on effect, because how well your feet move influences how your knees, hips, and spine align.

How to
1. While sitting, put your tool of choice (this could be a foot roller, tennis ball or golf ball) underneath your foot and begin rolling from the ball of your foot, along the arch, and down towards the heel (but be gentle with the heel bone).

2. Press down firmly, using a tolerable amount of pressure

3. Next, roll the ball back up your foot towards your toes, and repeat this back and forth a few times. Try to move the ball from side to side of each foot too, so that you’re moving it over your entire sole.

4. If you feel like you want to increase the pressure, try standing while rolling. Pay attention to your breathing while you do this, and note any particularly tense spots.

Kate Moss, 1993