Although yoga is a great opportunity to get some much-needed exercise, peeling feet can be a definite yoga don't, particularly if you do yoga barefoot, If your feet start peeling after yoga, it could be a coincidence or it could be directly related to your class or the equipment you use.
The rooms in a hot yoga class are a steamy 105 degrees or higher. Heat tends to loosen up dead skin, so if you have dry skin it may peel off after hot yoga. Calluses on the feet tend to get especially dry and hardened, so don't be surprised to see the top layer of your calluses peel off when heat softens them.
Infections and Fungus
If your skin is itchy, red or swollen along with the peeling, it's time for a visit to a podiatrist or family physician. Athlete's foot, staph and other infections can spread from one person to another. Particularly if you practice yoga barefoot or use other people's mats, you're susceptible to these infections.
Peeling skin sometimes occurs either immediately before you get blisters or as blisters begin to heel. If you have blisters or irritated spots on your feet, it may be time to change shoes. Your shoes should not rub up and down on your skin and shouldn't be so tight that they hurt your feet. If your feet are peeling because of blisters, cover the blisters before putting on shoes. If your blisters are repeatedly rubbed by your shoes, you could end up with an infection.
Sometimes peeling feet are totally unrelated to yoga. If the peeling doesn't go away within a few days, consult your doctor. Rarely peeling feet can indicate a condition such as psoriasis, eczema or even toxic shock syndrome. If swelling, pain, fever or oozing accompany your peeling feet, consult your doctor immediately.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.