August 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Reflexology Tips

Submitted by Wendy Coad on August 27.

Well here’s a match made in heaven.

We’re all familiar with the benefits reflexology, so imagine what will happen if you add yoga. Yoga is the traditional physical and mental exercise discipline that originated in India.

In the present time, more and more people, especially in the US (and you’ll see it just about everywhere, around the world), are resorting to Yoga to find a solution for chronic health problems as well as a practice in attaining peace of mind. And those who don’t practice it already are curious about knowing what exactly Yoga is and what’s included in it.

Although many of us are well aware of the health benefits of the physical activity, not everyone knows about the origin and exact definition of Yoga.

It’s a popular belief that Yoga merely includes stretching and warm up exercises. Of course, yoga involves stretching, but includes many other things beyond that. Yoga’s aim is to unite the mind, the body, and the spirit.

Branches of Yoga

The major branches of yoga in Hindu philosophy include Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hatha Yoga. There are many more that you commonly see including Iyengar, Kripalu, etc.

The Goal of Yoga

The goal of yoga may range from improving health to achieving Moksha (within Jainism and the monist schools of Advaita Vedanta and Shaivism the goal of yoga takes the form of Moksha), which is liberation from all worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and death (Samsara), at which point there is a realization of identity with the Supreme Being.

I’ve always thought of yoga as an exceptional health practice – after all, it’s our responsibility to take care of our own health and well being. Yoga is not a religion but rather a encourages a state of being present that is based on awareness of your body and mind in order to fully experience your wonderful (and wondrous) existence here on earth.

Benefits of Yoga

The most important benefit of yoga is physical and mental therapy. The aging process, which some think is largely an artificial condition, caused mainly by autointoxication or self-poisoning, can be slowed down by practicing yoga. By keeping the body clean, flexible and well lubricated, we can significantly reduce the catabolic process of cell deterioration. To get the maximum benefits of yoga one would do well to combine the practices of yogasanas (exercise), pranayama (breathing exercise) and meditation.

Yoga is not only a great form of activity but it also massages all the internal glands and organs of the body. Tai Chi can also offers these benefits, but it is a different exercise and philosophy altogether.

Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on all of the various body parts. It is thought to help in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny which in turn may help to facilitate nourishment up to the last cell.

The benefits – delayed ageing, increasing energy and offering a remarkable zest for life (see list below)!

Therapeutic uses of yoga

Yoga is highly therapeutic. Some of the ailments proven to be relieved, reversed and even healed through the practice of Yoga are acidity, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, anger, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, bronchitis, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, colitis, common cold, constipation.

Some other benefits of Yoga are

  • Dexterity skills improve
  • Reaction time improves
  • Posture improves
  • Strength and resiliency increase
  • Endurance increases
  • Energy level increases
  • Weight normalizes
  • Sleep improves
  • Immunity increases
  • Pain decreases
  • Steadiness improves
  • Depth perception improves
  • Balance improves
  • Integrated functioning of body parts improves

How can reflexology help?

If you look at the previous statement: Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on all of the various body parts. It is thought to help in the flushing out of toxins from every nook and cranny which in turn may help to facilitate nourishment up to the last cell… I could say the same for reflexology.

As a reflexologist, I have clients report to me every day that they have seen improvements in their health. And they attribute those improvements in part or in whole to reflexology.

I love to see my clients and they enjoy their sessions but there is a lot more that can be done between sessions that will help to maintain health or may even accelerate their healing process.

Before I go further, I want to tell you that I am not a yoga instructor or expert. Thankfully that’s one less thing I have to do because there are plenty of them all around. (I live in an urban area, but for those of you who don’t have any classes nearby, there are many good videos and books out there.)

I often recommend yoga classes to my clients who want to work on their health between reflexology sessions. I think it’s excellent just as an exercise program, and it also offers support for the life-style changes that will serve you well in the long run.

Hopefully there’s a class that will suit your speed, but if you’re a little older and have gone to a class with a room full of 20 year olds with buff bodies – do not despair. You can do half the poses that the instructor is offering and still reap the benefits.

But referring to a class is not all that I use yoga for. It’s easy to recommend some simple stretches for the toes. A favorite of many is –

1. Hold onto a chair or a table and place both feet on the floor.

2. Bend one foot so that the toes are flat on the floor but the heel is lifted high off the ground.

3. Rock the foot (heel) from left to right so that the toes remain bent and on the floor but the metatarsophalangeal joints and the flexor tendons get a nice stretch.

4. Change the direction of the toe bends from extension (curled up) to flexion (curled under). Make sure it’s comfortable and if your toes don’t bend well in this direction – don’t strain to do so. But if they can bend under, you can again

5. Rock the foot (heel) from left to right so that the toes remain bent and on the floor, but the metatarsophalangeal joints and the extensor tendons get a nice stretch too.

Client’s love it and so do I.

Note: It’s recommended that you check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

There have been numerous students who have come to train in reflexology because they have either had a yoga instructor do a little foot compression at the end of the class, or they’re a yoga instructor who has gotten rave reviews from giving a little foot compression at the end of a class and they want to know how to do more*. (*Note to those who want to market their reflexology!)

One or 2 of my former students have actually incorporated reflexology into their own practice, creatively working on their feet as they relax into certain poses.

As I said before, it’s a match made in heaven and you should consider suggesting it to clients as a great tool for health in between sessions – or learn it yourself – you too could become the next Reflexolyogi!

Enjoy your wonderful reflexology skills and explore how beautifully reflexology mixes with any healthy modality. It can work for everyone.

Here’s to your good reflexology health!


Wendy Coad, the “Reflexology Professor” helps reflexologists and aspiring reflexologists learn dynamic skills that attract clients and increase sales.

If you liked what you read today and want to learn more or refresh your skills, you’ll love Wendy’s

The Reflexology Professor has been sharing holistic health and “Reflexology News, Tips and Techniques” in classes, trainings and a weekly email newsletter to students and subscribers from around the world.

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