Foot pain is one of the ultimate detriments to regular exercise and fitness. Pain corrodes resolve faster than anything else. Since just about every exercise, including basic things like standing and walking, rely on your feet, foot pain is especially frustrating. The best way to avoid this pain is to care for your feet and ankles before an injury occurs. Since most foot and ankle injuries involve stress damage from stiffness, the best way to prevent such injuries is to develop better flexibility. By improving your range of motion, you decrease the chance that a wrong move could result in injury. Here are five yoga poses to help you get ahead of foot and ankle injuries.
Lightning Bolt and Hero Poses
These yoga poses are basic, but very effective. They also work very well together, which is why we’ve listed them as one. In order to practice the lightning bolt pose, simply kneel with the top of your feet flat on the ground and sit on your heels. You can lean forward and adjust to pull your toes under your rear to stretch slightly different areas, too.
The second pose is the hero pose. Keep your heels straight, and rest your weight on your toes. Feel free to alternate between these two positions as often as you like. If you have trouble with your heels bowing out the sides, you can tie them loosely with a scarf or band. This pose, especially when the two positions alternate, is great for ankles and feet alike.
This pose is similar to a deep squat. Keep your feet wide apart and sink between them until your rear is near the floor. Do not sit. Touch your elbows to your knees and press your hands together in front of you. This pose not only stretches, but also strengthens your ankles.
This classic yoga pose stretches your ankle, leg, and more. Stand with your feet apart so the lower half of your body makes a right angle. Bend to the left and place your left hand on the floor by your foot. Reach up with your right arm so your arms make a straight line. Make sure your chest is turned to the front. Repeat the same process on the right side. By loosening your legs, this pose takes a lot of strain off your ankles and feet.
Down Dog Pose
This is another classic pose you may already be familiar with. Keeping your feet flat on the ground, should width apart, bend at the waist and put your hands on the ground. You should look like a stretching or playful dog. This is an excellent ankle-stretcher, and it loosens your calves, too.
This uncommon pose is fantastic for foot pain. Sit comfortably on the floor, usually with one leg tucked under the other in Indian style. Take your right hand and thread each finger between the toes on your left foot. It’s like holding hands with your foot. Be sure to thread your fingers all the way through. Repeat the same process with your left hand and right foot.
Together, these yoga poses can not only solve foot pain, but also prevent it. Limber feet and ankles are key to exercising without injuring yourself. They are a great way to cool down after a workout.