Toe pose is a challenge for most shoe-wearing students, as it puts significant pressure on the (usually protected) sole of the foot. While it doesn’t look like an extreme stretch, there are so many connections between bones that there are dozens of intersections of connective tissue and bone that can benefit from this stretch.
Students who can bring their pinky toe to the floor are encouraged to use their hands to flip the toe. Others may find that the pinky is not long enough to reach the floor, in which case a student may let the toes dangle or use a prop to meet them. Blocks are useful supports beneath the seat or the hands, and this pose is very possible for those practicing in chairs.
It is helpful to remind students that suffering is optional, and that if they experience a lot of intensity in the pose (or any pain) that they may back away from the edge of sensation by adjusting the angle of the shape, adding support beneath the seat or hands, or elevating the seat onto a stack of cork blocks or a chair. This is also a lovely way to support one leg in resting while the other moves into the pose.
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