New students often ask ‘Why do I need to take off my socks?’. People have a range of reasons for not wanting to part with their socks … cold feet, skin infections, fear of catching a skin infection and some people simply don’t like showing off their feet. So why is it essential to remove your socks during yoga?
1. Safety – Socks are slippy, they increase the risk of sliding and injury.
2. Grounding – Bare feet on your mat allow deeper grounding, it’s a sensation that will grow with your practice. Soon you won’t want to wear socks.
3. Effectiveness – your poses will be more effective. Better grounding and more stability allows the ‘root to rise’ to really take effect.
So when arriving at my yoga classes please remove and leave shoes outside the studio in the hall before entering the yoga room. There’s a place inside the room to hang coats and bags. This helps to keep the floor clean for bare feet. It’s also a traditional mark of respect to the space in which yoga is practised.
Yoga mats are designed to be used with bare feet. They are produced with an intended level of ‘stickiness’ on contact with bare skin. If you have a contagious foot condition please bring your own yoga mat and put socks back on when moving off your mat. Many people prefer to invest in their own yoga mat so it’s perfectly acceptable to arrive at class with your own mat. It doesn’t scream ‘I have a foot infection’. It says ‘Yay, I love yoga so much that I invested in my own mat so I can do yoga at home too’.
If it makes you feel more comfortable you can bring baby wipes to freshen up feet before class. If you don’t have your own mat you are welcome to use mine and if you prefer you can bring anti-bacterial wipes to clean down a class mat before and/or after class if you wish.
If you really really can’t bare to go barefoot with the above suggestions you could invest in some specially designed sticky yoga socks such as these http://yogamatters.com/wl.aspx?40000408&req=1396
Love your feet. They carry you.