Do you have trouble calming your mind at night when it's time for bed?
This simple yoga exercise, known as 'toe tapping', can help increase your body temperature and circulation to the legs. It also can be useful to help calm your busy mind before bed.
You might already know that raising your body temperature just one degree can enhance your immune system. In his book, The Solar Body, The Secret to Natural Healing, Body & Brain founder Ilchi Lee writes, “According to Japanese immunologist Dr. Toru Abo of Niigata University, the immune system is strengthened fivefold when body temperature increases just 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C).”
Toe tapping is a great way to raise your body temperature that critical degree, while also calming your mind.
Start by sitting or lying down with your legs extended.
Shake your feet in and out (move from your hips, not your ankles).
The simple exercise of Toe Tapping causes healing energy to flow from toes to head, like a stream throughout your entire body. Even though the exercise is called Toe Tapping, you aren’t only tapping the tips of your toes. When done properly you move your entire legs, turning them outward and then inward until your toes meet. Thus the whole leg is active and the vibration created by the movement stimulates the six meridians which flow through the legs. Many have reported surprising improvements in health as well as joint flexibility and better overall balance.
Keep your upper body relaxed and breathe deeply and smoothly.
After 2-3 minutes, stop and comfortably relax your body.
Toe Tapping can also assist immune function and help the body’s natural healing ability by calming the sympathetic nervous system. As tension subsides, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated and mind and body relax. You may notice the release of chronic stress in your chest as stagnant air and energy is expelled. This allows for healing sleep accompanied by deeper breathing which can also improve health overall.
You may feel tingling or residual vibration.
An important component of Toe Tapping is it helps to restore the desirable condition of “Water Up, Fire Down” to the body. That is, heat is generated by exercising the lower body muscles and with practice, you will become aware of warmth accumulating in your abdomen as your head and chest are allowed to return to a cooler, more balanced state within the body.
After toe tapping, enjoy the sensations of your muscles relaxing. You may notice your breathing gets deeper, your legs feel warm and heavy, and even your shoulders and neck are more relaxed.
If you practice regularly, you might not notice any sensations because you'll be fast asleep before you're finished!