Not so lotus feet




My doctor has told me I have Plantar Fasciitis. I went to him today complaining of painful heels, especially in the mornings, and pain later on in the day after standing and walking.

Its been going on for more than two months now, ever since I walked and danced around Munich, Germany, in this year’s Rathayatra back in May. It was a great pleasure on the day: bright sunshine, lots of happy devotees, and an appreciative German public, you know the score. But whether it was my bad choice of footwear – rubbery Crocs – or whether it was my slightly-too-enthusiastic-jumping-for-my-age or whether it’s just normal wear and tear – I don’t know. But I do know they hurt.

I have not been very kind to my feet over the years. Thirty-five years and more of using my feet, often bare, in walking, standing, dancing and jumping without so much as a massage must constitute some kind of abuse. If my feet were independent personalities I am sure they would sue me for ill treatment.

Back in 1986 I was the first Englishman to complete the 128-mile barefoot pilgrimage around the sacred land of Vraja in northern India. The first four days were torture – no exaggeration – but after that my feet seemed to appreciate all that wonderful, holy sand and bare earth. I was walking as Lord Krishna walked, in the places He walked, and the month-long walk served to bring me closer to Him.

Srila Prabhupada cautioned that the ‘Kali Yuga pavement was not meant for bare feet’ and warned his disciples to always wear shoes on hard surfaces. However, I serve in a large building with wooden floors, often cold, and I am always in bare feet or thin socks. Not good.

Anyway, my diagnosis means that I will wear thicker socks, do remedial foot movements, and wear gel cushions in my soles for a few months. If you see me wince any time, you’ll know why.



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17 responses to “Not so lotus feet

  1. 1. Check your calf muscles are not too short. Stretch them several times a day (hatha yoga has material uses).
    2. Hard supportive orthotics may give you instant relief (soft gel ones do not provide enough support). A biomechanical assessment is necessary to determine whether they will be of any use. A physiotherapist or orthotist should be able to do the assement for you. If your problem is due to biomechanical causes, I recommend life-long strecthing and orthotic use.


  2. Respectful greetings!
    i am a junior med student (joined this year by the grace of God).
    i was reading somewhere that pro runners actually believe that they must go barefoot to avoid Plantar Fasciitis!
    There are contrasting statements made by so many researchers, where some believe that the special arch in tailor-made footwear actually causes the disease, as in weakening the foot muscles. So, some ppl actually think that going barefoot helps ur foot muscles! 🙂
    However, here are some links which may help:

    And, important for a vegetarian: If ur doc has advised fish oil (which he must have, 99.9 %), you may wanna try:
    walnuts, Flax oil, olive oil, ground flax seed, soy beans, soy bean oil, mungo beans, leafy green vegetables (traces alone in green veggies, but good ratio anyhow) and….
    Ocimum sanctum…which is nothing but TULSI !!!
    Besides being suggested for plantar fasciitis, it also has anti-helminthic properties, and what more, it’s prasad too!!

    Mayb (jus wondering) one of the reasons we offer Tulsi unto the “Lotus Feet” of the Lord… 🙂

    P.S: Dnt get me sued…am hardly a doc, jus trying to help :))

  3. H.G. Ananta Suci Das

    How is someone born in South Wales an “Englishman” roflol..

    Just how do you know you were the 1st “Englishman” to humbly complete the barefoot pilgrimage !?

    Oh well its nice to have a sense of humour..what`s that one about the last leg of`re funny, well you make me laugh..dandavats

    • Only born in Wales. Technically Welsh. The Vraja Mandala Parikrama was largely unheard of by westerners in the 1980s. I asked the organizers how many others had been on it before me – then made sure I reached Mathura first on the last day. Thanks for asking…

      • H.G. Ananta Suci Das

        “Technically Welsh.”..I`ll remember that one proud of your roots boyo !!..dandavats

      • My birth certificate is in Welsh, so should I ever wish to escape England I can show the customs men on the Welsh borders my official documents

  4. Dhanistha Devi Dasi

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    find a really good ostepath and get your lower back treated and then see the difference in your feet.

  5. Hare Krishna!
    i am a junior med student (joined this year by the grace of Krishna)…
    When i was looking up something, i came across that “going barefoot actually helps people prevent plantar fasciitis”….As in, walking barefoot strengthens the feet…Ofcourse,what they also say is age and wear-and-tear are actual causes.

    btw, if ur doc has suggested fish (l) oil for Omega 3, and you are thinking of using supplements, you may want to consider these alternatives:
    Flax oil, flax seed oil, walnuts, mungo beans (actually all nuts and beans help), canola oil, green leafy vegetables (veggies have traces alone of Omega 3, but the ratio is good)

  6. And i almost forgot to mention, there is a herb which will really help you…And, you can procure it as prasad from the Lotus Feet of Krishna 🙂
    Occimum sanctum, popularly known as Tulsi, is supposed to be good for Plantar Fasciitis

    • That’s interesting…where did you find that bit of information?

      • Sir,
        i read it somewhere, and i will get back to you once i figure out the exact source of the statement. (actually, that’s the first thing that struck my mind when i read “Plantar Fasciitis” in your blog).

        But, here are some things that do point to Tulasi’s remedial properties for Plantar Fasciitis, or in general, heel spurs of any kind (one problem with Tulsi, “The Queen of Herbs is that there are few established scientific researches that claim/verify its properties, and hence my difficulty in stating the source of the info easily…me being a med student, i have read it in an Ayurveda journal which is really not my subject area)

        //Fact: The Karmanos Cancer Institute states that tulsi is a COX-2 inhibitor–a compound in the same class as many pharmaceutical pain killers. No studies have clearly demonstrated its efficacy, but tulsi may be a viable alternative to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and narcotics for relieving chronic pain. Tulsi can reduce inflammatory pain associated with arthritis.

        Fact: Patients with Plantar Fasciitis are prescribed NSAIDs.//

        //Fact: Plantar Fasciitis is a case of collagen degeneration.
        Fact: Tulasi helps regenerate tissues like collagen.//

        //Fact: Though plantar fasciitis is highly case-specific, in Ayurvedic terms, “it is more due to aggravation of vata predominantly.”
        Fact: Tulsi has anti inflammatory properties as it reduces vata .//

        And, more for ur info than anything else,

  7. Manisha Bolina

    Good ol’ Clarks should do the trick! I’m sure your mother must have recommeded them to you at some stage in your life!!

  8. Anonymous

    Hare Krsna!
    I had a similar problem that went on for almost a year until I requested my GP to recommend me to a Physiotherapist. Besides carrying out the excercises she asked me to do, she did a a wonderful thing by recommending me for a biochemical assessment. I was provided with special pads/cushions to wear with only trainers initially. With the follow up appointments, they can adjust the pads/cushions accordingly to give the feet better support. This treatment really helped me and I hope it will do the same for you. There was a time when I felt that I would not be able to walk normally but thanks to Krishna, my feet are ok. Hari Bol! Sandhya

  9. Anonymous

    Hare Krishna!

    Same issue in my heal. I discarded a set of problematic shoes and purchased a set of Keens. Combined with sensible stretching and exercise, the issue is 99% resolved.

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