Maria had a bunion on one foot. She opted to go for surgery to remove the bunion about one year ago.   She is a professional and likes to wear high heels. She has a pair for every outfit.  Most foot problems stem from improper fitting shoes or high heels.  When barefoot, her toes are still very close together, almost as if they were squished in a pair of tight shoes without the shoes.  She still had discomfort in her foot when walking or wearing heels even though it had been almost one year post surgery.  She was in extreme pain when trying to perform any exercise with her toes in a flexed position (such as a lunge) and absolutely could not sit seza with toes flexed while practicing her yoga. She could not perform a simple task like reaching the top shelf at the supermarket on her tippy toes to get her favorite box of cereal.   Her ROM was little if any in her big toe and she absolutely could not wear any high heels.  Maria started to experience immediate relief and increased ROM in her big toe after she did the Yoga Tune Up® exercises in the Quick Fix for Feet and Ankles video.  Now she can stand on her tippy toes and sit seza for at least 1 minute without a break!  As for the heels, she compromised with a much lower heel and pays more attention to a proper fitting shoe.

Learn about the YTU feet and ankles pain relief solutions

Watch the QuickFix Online Feet and Ankles video

Discover the YTU At Home Program


Sue McGurn

Susan has been in the business of fitness since 1990 as a group exercise instructor, personal trainer, program manager and leading the NY BFIT University Instructor Training program for one of the nation's largest largest health club chains, Bally Total Fitness for 17 years. Susan was introduced to the Pilates principle of exercise on the reformer in 1999 by Elizabeth Larkam, director of Pilates and Beyond, and who is internationally recognized as an innovator in mind body movement. She holds certificates from BASI, Balanced Body Pilates, American Council on Exercise (ACE) for group and personal training, and licensed to teach Yoga Tune Up® with specialty certificates in Yoga Tune Up® Ball Therapy. Susan is well versed in Pilates Mat work with ring, roller, bands and ball as well as using unique props in Yoga Tune Up® to design programs based on individual needs, challenges and goals. Susan states, "Pilates and Yoga Tune Up® has deeply connected my mind to work synergistically with my body and helping me and many others live better in their body everyday."

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For years I’ve been a lover of high heels (and I still love them, they are sooooo cute!) But all these beautiful, narrow, and high-heel shoes have contributed to create chronic pain in my toes. I am now learning to walk barefoot as often as possible, and use wider shoes. Using YTU therapeutic balls will certainly help too.


This is so great! I have learned long ago that high heels are a no no, but this helped my 20 something sister believe me and UNDERSTAND! 🙂

Michelle Preyde

Thank you! Thank you! I also have bunions – although I think they are a gift from my grandmother… This blog was helpful.

melissa Harris

Ah yes, the dreaded high heels! How great to hear she has gotten relief from the Yoga Tune-Up exercises. I wish, I too, would have been kinder to my feet over the years. At this point, there’s no better time to start than now. I’ve never been much of a high heel wearer, but have definitely shoved my feet into some unkind shoes. Now, to design a shoe that is cute and comfy. Maybe we can call them Heals 😉


That’s so great the the Yoga Tune Up balls were so helpful for this chronic issue of hers. Maybe at some point she will consider NO heels whatsoever for the sake of her foot and whole body health!


The feet are our foundation! If the foundation is shaky, the building won’t be stable. I try to go barefoot as much as possible, and do exercises that stretch and strengthen my feet. I hate wearing heels, and I hope that trends continue to veer towards shoes that are more beneficial for the feet.


Today I consider myself fortunate that my duck feet never fit well into the pretty shoes I wanted to wear! Of course, that was not always the case. In the past, I did try to squeeze my feet into heels and suffered greatly because of it. Now, I use the YTU therapy balls on my feet as a treat. In classes, I used to say that the balls are good for anyone “who wears heels”; NOW I say, they’re good for anyone “who wears….SHOES.” 🙂 The feet are too important to sacrifice their comfort for fashion!

lulu yen

Plantar pain is caused by over stretching and overloading of the Plantar Fascia. The Plantar Fascia does not stretch – it is not supposed to.The Plantar is designed by nature not to stretch so that it can provide the structural tension your foot needs to support the full weight of your body. Stretching does not help you heal your Plantar Fasciitis;Further stretching is only going to make your situation worse! support shore, and no high heel for while is necessary. roll out with the yoga tune up ball will break the fascia . let your foot breath and spread the… Read more »


Thank you for this blog post – reaching for the cereal is a very helpful cue for how this limitation can affect daily activity. A friend of mine who has worn heels to work regularly for years is currently suffering from plantar fasciitis – her podiatrist told her to wear heels less than 3″ to help deal with the pain. I’m excited to show her YTU therapy balls as a more long-term alternative!


I have tried to give up wearing heels but I just love them too much to sacrifice this guilty pleasure, but I do try to always remember to roll my feet out with the Yoga Tune Up balls after I wear them. Now, about sitting seza I love doing and teaching it. It is very interesting to watch a class work through this pose and exercise, and I have found it is women that have a much harder time then the men staying in seza for even a minute.

rebecca miller

Hell OOOOO feet , my mind was screaming sitting bound seza the oother day. The YTU balls came to the resuce– rolling out my feet to help relax and lengthen the muscles. Yummy.

Amanda Joyce

Hi Sue! I wish I had a nickel for every conversation I’ve had with my clients regarding high heels! The good news is that I too have seen many benefit from YTU therapy ball rolling and retraining the lower leg muscles through YTU poses. After a short period of working with these tools, they are really able to get a better understanding of how their choices affect their feet positively or negatively. I’ve had a student cancel her bunion surgery and elect instead to dedicate herself to trying to heal her own feet first. I am not really a high… Read more »

Melissa Tilley

Sue thank you for sharing Maria experience and results. I am rolling out my feet as I read your blog. My feet are nicely spread out and are feel like they can breath. Thinking about putting them in high heels right now makes me cringe. Sending lots of love to all the feet that are suffocating in heels. I’m a recovering high heel addict. The higher the better, I used to say. Since they’ve been gone my feet can breath for the first time 😉

silvia marisol

I have let go of wearing heels, even low heels. My HIGH heels are for re-sale at the re-sale shops! Not only do heels do a number on your feet but pelvis and spinal alignment while in locomotion, OUCH1! My heart goes out to so many women who have those glued together toes, even barefoot; but ladies we got the vote, we burned our bra’s, love your body and switch to lower heels or better yet NO HEELS!

Liz Arch

Most of the women I know who wear high heels on a daily basis suffer from back problems, poor posture and experience pain in their feet. While they might make your legs look great, wearing high heels can shorten your calf muscles and potentially lead to osteoarthritis by damaging muscles and tissue around the knee joint. It hardly seems worth it to me! It recently occurred to me how many of us live our entire lives in shoes – be it high heels, running shoes or flip flops – and never allow our bare feet to truly connect with any… Read more »

Priscilla Ch.

Taking care of ourselves it’s really important. I like wearing heels but at the same time I know the are not too good for me.. So I always try to alternate the day, one day heels, next day flats… Now that I know abou YTU therapy balls, i will love to try feet massages, they are very essencitial in every aspect, we need to treat them very well.


After years of wearing high heels and uncomfortable (but cute) shoes, my toes and feet finally paid the price. My switch to flat shoes came too late to prevent the chronic pain that I have in my feet but it definitely helps manage the pain. Additionally, the YTU balls have also become a regular tool I use – rolling out my feet daily helps relax and lengthen the muscles in my feet that can become stiff from lack of use or from being crammed into shoes.


It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes when you wear the proper shoes! I am a dancer who is used to dancing barefoot yet also work in a corporate setting and wear heels. This surely changed after one-year because I realized that I needed to wear smaller heels or flats and allow my foot to breathe. Especially now after my yoga training, I find it nice to take my shoes off at my desko nce in a while, flex my toes and find tadasna feet/knee alignment to correct my sitting posture. It helps with flats because I am… Read more »


Another compromise is to have fewer pairs of high heels but of very high quality/excellent fit. They’ll cost more, but not as much as foot surgery 🙂 A lower heel is definitely helpful. And when you do wear heels, why not kick them off a few times a day right there, in your office, and do a couple of Jill’s quick fixes!

Robyn Capobianco

Ah the feet! Thank you for addressing them. My students get a big wake up call when I teach the simple act of asking them to press just the big toes forward and pull just the big toes back. I see lots of wincing with barbie foot as well. The feet are so neglected – we wedge them into ill fitting shoes with no chance to be free and breathe! Poor foot posture is related to hip and shoulders problems. Addressing the feet is the first step!