Around one out of ten people suffer from plantar fasciitis some points in their life, and although the disorder is more common among athletes and avid walkers, it can affect any other person especially when the forties or fifties are around the corner.
Now, if you’re on your feet occasionally, good news is yoga can help you stay active and enjoy daily activities without plantar fasciitis. These 5 yoga poses will soften and stretch your muscles while relieving the pain from your feet.
Before getting into the practice keep in mind that your feet always need to loosen up a bit. You can start by sitting on the edge of a chair with your spine tall, planting your feet on the floor, and stretching your legs. Then, start breathing gently and slowly leaning forward so your back and the back of your knees can also stretch a little bit.
In the second warm-up activity, once again sit on the front edge of the chair with a straight spine and both legs extended. Press down your heels. Start wiggling your toes and then the ankles. Support yourself on your core. You can move your feet back and forth a little bit more, stretch your muscles and enjoy.
1. Toe Pose (Yin Yoga)
Toe Pose strengthens your fascia and decreases its inflammation. Carefully, place yourself in a kneeling position with your toes curled underneath. Remain in that position as you keep supporting more and more of your weight on your heels. Remember it’s not about your heels going flat to the floor, just lean onto them as much as you can. This can hurt a little bit at the beginning but try to hold it for at least 2.5 minutes and then more as the time passes by. Do not push yourself just to get fast results, and remember to always keep breathing.
2. Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
You can start with Dandasana (Staff Pose) to give your legs a little stretch. Then, bring your feet under your hips in a sitting position. The thumbs of both feet and your knees should be touching. Maintain your spine and neck completely straight as you close your eyes, push your shoulders gently to the back, and slowly inhale and exhale. Try to stay focus on this pose for about 5 minutes.
3. Hero Pose (Virasana)
Kneel down and slowly try to sit between your feet. If it feels a little uncomfortable at the beginning, you can use a block and put it between your feet to help with the sitting. Inhale and exhale deeply a few times while your body gets familiar with the pose. Place your hands close to the knees with palms facing down. Your head should be pointing straight ahead. Hold Hero Pose during 30 seconds to 1 minute. When finished, you can shake your knees and ankles a bit.
4. Warrior Pose I (Virabhadrasana I)
Stand straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Extend back your left foot and make sure that your toes are turned in 20 degrees. Then align the heels to each other and breath a couple of times. Once you feel comfortable, you can try to add more movement to this pose by lifting the back heel up and down without disturbing the rest of the pose. Try to hold this pose for 45 seconds each side, and repeat 2-3 times a day.
5. Garland Pose (Malasana)
Before you even start, get yourself a mirror to do this pose, it will get a lot easier! Place your feet a littler wider than just hip-width apart and softly turn your toes out. Squat your hips as down as possible. Then bring your elbows inside the knees and put your hands in prayer position. If your heels are lifted, that’s fine, with regular practice you will eventually be able to lower them down. Hold for five breaths and relax. As a little tip, you can practice with regular squats to warm up before this pose. Do not forget to be patient and go at the same rhythm as your body.
Keep practicing these 5 poses so you can give your feet some rest and pain relief. The first three poses target mainly the arches of your feet, while the last two work for the calves and Achilles tendon. Remember, your body is your temple and it deserves to be heard and treated nicely when it’s in pain.
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