Bikram yoga, also called hot yoga, is beneficial for many reasons, so it may surprise you to feel pain in your feet during standing poses. Yoga isn't supposed to hurt, so feeling pain during a session likely indicates a problem. In most cases, simple tweaks to your routine and home treatment methods are appropriate and you'll probably be back on the mat in no time. If you're worried, call your doctor.
In many cases, pain in your foot while doing Bikram yoga standing poses goes away when you come out of the position. This probably indicates that you are holding the pose too long or that your form may be off slightly. If you have flat feet, they may hurt doing standing yoga poses. If you forget to stretch before your hot yoga session, you may have suffered a pulled or strained muscle in your foot. No matter the cause, treatment is relatively simple.
If your foot starts to hurt during yoga, stop and take a break. If the pain subsides, you may be able to finish your session. If the pain persists, treatment can help. Lightly massage your foot to ease tension and get the blood flowing to the area. If you pulled or strained the muscle in your foot, apply ice several times per day for 10 to 15 minutes at a time and take over-the-counter pain medication to keep discomfort under control. For flat feet, certain yoga poses may help. Yoga Journal recommends Hero pose, which stretches your arches and may ease the pain over time.
One of the best ways to prevent foot pain during Bikram yoga is to stretch properly before your session. During the session, check your form often and avoid holding any one pose for an extended amount of time. Ask your instructor for pointers if you need them. If the pain doesn't stop after a session, take a few days off to allow your foot time to recover. This prevents the pain from coming back and keeps you from making it worse.
When to See a Doctor
If your foot still hurts for days after yoga and you're hobbling around, it might pay to call the doctor even if it is a hassle in between your other obligations. If you hurt your foot, failing to treat the problem could make it worse and prolong healing. If you hear a pop or tearing sound in your foot during Bikram yoga standing poses, stop right away and contact your doctor.
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