Okay, it’s not the loveliest of topics. But for many yogis walking in and out of studios (hot yoga or not) into change rooms with damp floors and many passing feet, foot fungal can become an issue. I know, it’s not usually what we think of or talk about when it comes to yoga. But, hey it’s not all Lululemon attire and handstands in bikinis on Bali beaches that a yoga practice is about, actually quite far from it.
Fungus loves dark, damp environments in which to thrive in. So, what can you do to keep fungus in check? First wear 100% cotton socks. The natural fibres absorb moisture which helps prevent your feet from being damp. I know, I know, no socks on the yoga mat! But you can wear them into the studio and after class into the change room. Keep a clean pair in your yoga bag for the sole (no pun intended) purpose of protecting those divine feet of yours from the nasty culprit of scaling skin and thick yellow nails. Don’t care for socks? No worries, drop a pair of flip-flops into your bag. You can wear them in and out and around the studio, even into the shower! Whichever you choose, keep your feet off the floors and dry them well after yoga classes.
Have fungus already and want to rid of it before it becomes a potential infection? Of course you do! Here are a few natural remedies to pamper your feet while creating a less than desirable environment for fungus to grow.
Epsom Salt Soak
Give your feet a soak in hot water up to three times a day. Drop a handful into a large bowl and relax while your feet receive a little love. Don’t have time to pull out a bowl, warm a kettle, sit down and soak your feet at work? No worries, kill two birds with one stone – Not literally of course, that would go against the Yama Ahimsa, non-harming, in a big way! Go to a class, reap the benefits of the practice (remembering you socks and/or flip-flops!) and then soak in a bath afterwards with Epsom salts.
Apple Cider Vinegar Good from head to toe, Apple Cider vinegar should be a staple in your kitchen. While it helps to make your hair silky and shiny and your skin soft and smooth, it also helps to rid of fungus! Ah, nature, blessing us with everything we need!
The acidity in vinegar helps to balance oH levels and gives relief from the itchiness of fungus. Use a 1:1 ratio as a foot soak or drop a cup of vinegar in your bath. And, no you won’t smell of vinegar when you dry off.
Speaking of drying off, dry those feet of your really well! Any opportunity fungus has to grow, there it will be. Keep a clean, dry hand towel in your bag just for your feet.
Tea Tree Oil
Hip, hip hooray for essential oils! Tea Tree is known for it’s antibacterial, antimicrobial and fungicide properties. So, place a few drops in your Epsom Salt foot soak and be on your way to fungal free feet!
Lastly, garlic! Not just for delicious, healthy meals, crushed garlic can help rid of foot fungus. Crush the garlic and create a foot soak with the crushed garlic or you can apply the crushed garlic, mixed with a little extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed organic coconut oil, directly onto your foot/feet. Push the garlic into the fungal areas and then wrap your foot/feet in cellophane. Get those clean cotton socks on and leave the application on for two to twelve hours. You can do this at home in the evening and leave overnight.
Have any other suggestions, let me know in the comments below. Together we can banish foot fungus from the yoga experience!