Yoga for Runners Pose of the Month: Toe Squat (Thunderbolt variation)

by Sally Drake

Pose Description and Benefits: Toe Squat targets the lower legs and feet, parts of the body greatly impacted by running but often neglected. Time invested in strengthening and stretching the toes, feet and ankles will prevent injury and support the longevity of your running. Toe squat opens the toes and feet, deeply stretches the bottoms of the feet, and strengthens the ankle. It can feel very intense, so go slow.

How To Practice: Start in a table-top position with knees together, flex your feet and curl your toes toward your knees, keep your toes flat on the ground so you are on the balls of your feet rather than the tippy-toes. Shift your body back to center your hips over your knees, aligning your neck and back. Continue to shift your hips back to rest them on your heels. Place your palms on your thighs. Come out of the pose slowly by leaning forward onto your hands, lift your hips forward and release your feet.

Tips: Go slow and ease into the pose. Shifting forward on the knees will lessen the pressure in the toes. Take deep and slow inhales and exhales as you hold the pose to encourage release in your stretch and ease in the body. If this pose feels uncomfortable in the knees, place a blanket under them for cushion.


Sally Drake has been a runner in the Capital District community for over twenty years and  is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher. She teaches yoga at The Hot Yoga Spot in Albany at 6:30am on Monday and Thursday mornings and Monday evenings at 7:30pm. Follow her on Instagram @sdrakeyogi for schedule and class details.


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