These are my feet. Actually, these are my feet a few years ago, as I oddly enough had pictures on my computer of my feet, which didn’t require me to go outside and take current pictures, which is good because I don’t want to, and I’ll get to why in a second.
First, a story. One day in college I was leaving class with my friend Emily, who was distraught over the state of a fellow classmate’s feet. I believe they smelled, were really dry and yucky looking, or hairy, or perhaps they had yellow toenails. Maybe all of those, or a combination. Emily is not a judgmental gal, but she notices people’s feet, and she was, well, grossed out by this guy’s.
That was when it dawned on me that I did not notice feet. At that point in time, you could have had hooves and it probably wouldn’t have fazed me. But the first time I spent a whole day with a group of yogis, I started noticing feet.
And I have decided that people’s feet are not pretty. I have seen a lot of feet since I got into this yoga thing, and let me tell you, they are gross. There are feet with extreme hammertoes, there are black hairy feet, scaly feet, callused feet, fungus-y feet, smelly feet, feet with very long toenails, you name it.
My feet are not cute, either. They are exact replicas of my mom’s. When we were kids, my mom would bribe us to rub her feet while she laid on the couch, and I was a nice kid (right, mom?) so I did a lot of this. This is how I know that my feet are identical to hers. Same calluses in the same places. Same shape of the toes, same weird bony protuberance under the pinky toe that makes many shoes painful to wear.
And yoga isn’t like other things where you can just generally ignore your feet. They’re right in your face, you’re grabbing them, holding them, wrapping straps around them, trying to put them over your head, trying to balance on just one, and of course we all know wearing socks only makes all of this harder.
I had a mini twitter conversation about this last weekend with @TommyTadasana and @spoiledyogi. After Tommy described his yoga fashion as “Moth-eaten1989 sleeveless frat T-shirt, stained b-ball shorts with Hanes popping out the top, & ungodly toe nails,” it made me realized that I feel pressured to keep my feet looking somewhat nice for yoga class.
I try to keep them either painted or not painted, not somewhere in the “chipped” stage, and every once and while I attack them with the pumice stone. But other than that, there’s not a lot you can do to improve the looks of your feet. Erica thought maybe there’s a correlation there: lots of time spent in yoga = more calluses, generally yuckier feet. Perhaps she’s on to something.
I am thankful for my feet, for sure. They carry me through my day and allow me to do all sorts of cool asanas in yoga. And they would be a lot prettier if I didn’t insist on being barefoot as much as humanly possible.
What about you? Any good feet stories? How do you feel about your own feet?