Over the past years, yoga has become a more popular form of exercise. To us, yoga is more than just an exercise. It’s a journey! Both women and men of all ages can choose between many styles. Most yoga classes are done barefoot. For some, it offers more stability on balance stances. However, you don’t necessarily need to go barefoot if you don’t want to. Or if you have some health issues and injury, sometimes barefoot is not an option. So, how would you know when you should wear yoga shoes or barefoot during yoga? Let’s take a look at each option.
You’ll find that some yoga instructors prefer to go barefoot. Often, they would ask all participants to take off their footwear as well. Most yoga studios have shoe racks outside, so everyone can take off your shoes before entering the studio. This keeps the floor and mat clean from outside dirt. Besides, when going barefoot, yoga postures are somewhat easier.
The benefits of barefoot yoga
Practicing yoga barefoot is believed to have many benefits. Here are some of them:
Balance and stability
Your feet play important roles during yoga classes. Most of the postures require firm contact between your feet and your yoga mat. You need to have a good grip to maintain balance and stability. Wearing shoes may limit your movement.
Your feet are the base of support for your body. And nearly 30% of the joints in your body are on your feet. Practicing barefoot helps strengthen your ankle and arches.
Better energy flow
The connection with the ground in barefoot yoga helps energy to flow smoothly through your body.
When should you wear yoga shoes?
Even though most yoga studios and instructors will ask you to practice yoga barefoot, it’s more of a recommendation. All you have to do is ask your instructor if their session is suitable for this uncommon option. In fact, you’re recommended to wear yoga shoes in one of these conditions:
- If you have health conditions or injury, flexible-soled shoes are preferable;
- On a hiking yoga;
- If you have a concern about arch support, yoga shoes may help ease your pain and reduce pressure on your feet;
- If you mind the germs on the studio's floor or if you rent yoga mat from the studios;
- On a stand-up paddleboard yoga, wearing shoes gives more grips on the wet and slippery board.
The advantages of wearing yoga shoes
Wearing shoes in a yoga class depends on the setting and environment of your yoga practice. If you feel uncomfortable to do barefoot, or you have health conditions, some shoes can help enhance your yoga practice.
Reliefs foot pains
Yoga shoes are ergonomically designed to give you the best yoga experiences. Some provide effective foot pain relief caused by long-standing poses.
More effective yoga practices
Most yoga shoe feature cushion, padding, and protection for more effective poses. They give better control on different types of surfaces. Even on a slippery surface, you can have the proper strength and balance on various postures.
Yoga studios are visited by many people, so it often creates a germ-filled environment. Wearing yoga shoes and bringing your own yoga mats are the best for this case.
Improves feet strength
Some types of yoga shoes are ideal for many different exercises. They help you with stretching and strengthening your feet.
Recommended yoga shoes
There are some benefits of wearing yoga shoes, both outdoors and in studios. Compared to gym shoes, yoga shoes are more flexible. And they offer sturdier protection than yoga socks. But, you need to make sure to get the one that best suits your needs and conditions. Here are some of the yoga shoes for you to choose from:
Manami Shoes - These unisex shoes are made of Vibram fabric, which makes it lightweight. Perfect for different movements and postures in yoga exercises!
Azami Shoes - These shoes are perfect for outdoor yoga. The mesh and rubber top make them breathable.
Michiko Shoes - These are lightweight water shoes with solid soles, which make them comfortable to wear. With more grips, the slippery surface is no longer a problem.
Kimi Shoes - Wearing these shoes give you a barefoot feeling. Thanks to its super lightweight material! And they are flexible, so you won’t feel restricted during tough poses.
With yoga shoes of barefoot: the choice is yours!
Ideally, yoga is done barefoot. However, the choice of either to wear yoga shoes or barefoot depends on your needs and conditions. If you have some health issues, on outdoor yoga, or are concerned about germs in yoga studios, you can always wear yoga shoes. There’s no sin in that! In fact, it’s highly recommended in those situations.
Barefoot yoga does offer some benefits, such as improving stability and flexibility, plus strengthening your muscles. On the other hand, wearing shoes during your yoga practices also has some advantages. These include relieving foot pains and helping you move more comfortably.
If you need to wear shoes for your yoga classes, you can choose some shoes that give protection and flexibility. Lightweight shoes are great, as they allow you to practice many different poses.