[Pose Of the Week] Relieve Swollen Feet & Ankles with Toes Pose (Beginner)

Stretch your feet, ankles, and toes, relieve swelling, and improve balance & mobility with Toes Pose…

Toes Pose – also known as Screaming Toe Pose, Kneeling Toes-Tucked Pose, or Toe Squat – looks like a very simple and basic pose, but as with many yoga poses, it’s harder than it looks! Toes Pose provides a great stretch for the toes, feet, and ankles, and may help to alleviate foot pain and plantar fasciitis.

The challenge in this pose comes from the intensity; you probably don’t pay a lot of attention to your toe joints, and you sure will feel it when you do! However, practicing this pose regularly can help to improve balance and mobility, so it’s a good pose for runners and other athletes. It’s also a great pose for pregnant women as it can help to reduce swelling in the feet and ankles which can occur in the later stages of pregnancy.

To modify the pose if it’s too intense for you in the beginning, you can keep some of the weight on your hands rather than sitting all the way back onto your heels. As your arches relax and open up,  you will be able to gradually shift more of your weight back until you are sitting up straight in the full pose. Once you get used to it, Toes Pose can be a wonderful stretch to do in the evening after a long day on your feet!

However, those with foot, ankle, or knee injuries should avoid this pose.

How to do Toes Pose:

  • Start in table top.
  • Begin to tuck all 10 toes under and then gently walk your hands back toward the knees.
  • If you can comfortably sit all the way up, you can simply rest the hands in the lap.
  • After you’ve landed in a good place within the pose, be sure to tuck those pesky pinkies back under as they tend to attempt an escape.
  • HOLD: 1-3 minutes. Come off of the heels very slowly.


  • DON’T RUN AWAY! – The point of the posture is to find resistance and breathe through it. When the intensity starts to build, breathe through the chaos. Find something calming and encouraging to focus on and practice incorporating this intention into the breath.
    • Do your best to relax the areas that do not need to be tense here. When this pose starts to really hit, I notice my face starts to tighten (specifically my jaw) as well as my shoulders tense up. Remind yourself to relax areas such as this in your own body. Focus on where the sensation resides and mentally send the breath into that space.
    • Try to keep the heels pointed straight up rather than letting the ankles turn from one side to the other. That could tweak this sensitive joint and cause pain nearby joints (knees/toes).
Read more on this pose at NancyNelsonYoga.com


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