Bunions and Hammer Toes

Here’s another nugget of information from Donald Moyer, author of "Yoga: Awakening the Inner Body."


With bunions, the big toe turns out and up, pressing against the other toes. The end of the first metatarsal becomes pronounced and a lot of pressure ends up being placed on the big toe mound as it is required to make up for the now-ineffective big toe. It becomes necessary to strengthen either side of the big toes, both the neck of the toe and the front base of the arch. Try these two approaches to strengthen and bring balance to the foot.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

1. Come into the pose and lift the heels to bring the weight into the neck of the big toe.

2. Turn the heels out to make the big toes point forward.

3. Ground down and strengthen the neck of the big toe (the part between the big toe mound and the pad under the toenail).

4. Without losing the strength and alignment of the big toes, slowly draw the heels back towards parallel. At first you might not be able to bring them back into alignment.

5. Strengthen the ends of the arches, especially the end closest to the big toe mound.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

1. Come into Uttanasana with a slant board under the toes.

2. Draw the big toes into alignment with the fingers while pressing the thumbs into the base of the arch behind the mound.

Hammer Toes

With hammer toes, the underside of the digits retracts back towards the heel, curling the toes. This can be worked on in Uttanasana by softening the top of the foot and strengthening from underneath.

Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose)

1. Come into the pose with a slant board under the toes.

2. Work on each toe either individually or together, bu pressing the neck of the toe down with the fingers and grounding the underside into the slant board.

3. Continue grounding as you first reduce the effort of the the fingers and then remove them completely.

4. Broaden the sole of the foot from the Big Toe to the 4th toe.