When we begin a yoga practice, many of us feel very self-conscious about our feet. We are so used to stuffing them into shoes! Taking off our socks is like being naked. We feel so vulnerable. As we practice yoga, we begin to cultivate a deeper appreciation of our feet. Who knew they could bend like that? Who knew we could learn to move one toe at a time instead of flopping them around like a penguin’s wing? And then one day we actually feel ourselves doing that lift-your-arches-thing our yoga teacher has been describing to us… Wowza!

Being a yoga teacher, I see a lot of feet. I love yogi-feet! I love when yogis learn to love their feet! Here in Louisville, summer means sandal season. All the ladies are sporting pretty polish. Even the guys’ feet-hygiene has improved by the time May rolls around! (Ha ha.)  As the saying goes, “The flip-flop is the glass slipper of the South!”

Did you know that in some areas of the world, a pair of shoes can not only change someone’s life, but also save someone’s life? That is why Eternal Health Yoga is partnering with Soles4Souls this June. We are joining them to make strides in “wearing out poverty!”

Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based non-profit organization and a registered 501 (c)(3).  They provide short-term relief by helping individuals in need access shoes and clothing during times of disaster. For example, they were second wave responders during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Soles4Soles also provides long-term relief to by creating sustainable jobs and helping people access affordable clothing. This is how it works. First, people donate shoes, clothing, or money. Then Soles4Souls sells the donated goods to people in developing nations who are working to start up a business of their own. These small businesses are called micro-enterprises. The entrepreneurs of these enterprises can then sell their re-purposed goods to people in their community at a price they can afford.

A pair of shoes can go a long way. It can help bridge the income gap for children here in North America. A pair of shoes can protect people in developing countries from diseases and parasites. Donating used shoes and clothing to Soles4Souls creates opportunity for our neighbors at home and abroad, while keeping them out of landfills!

This month at EHY, every 10 check-ins with the hashtag #shoes4kids will help provide a pair of shoes to someone in need.  We will also be collecting uses shoes at the studio for WaterStep, another organization that puts our unwanted or unneeded items to good use! When donating to a WaterStep drive, the shoes can be any style and in any condition…. You don’t even have to have both shoes! The shoes are sold to markets in developing countries, providing shoes at a price affordable to the people in that area. The profits go toward water distribution during humanitarian disasters. There is a basket by the front door…. You can donate your used shoes there!

For more information, check out the two videos below!