Did you know that the bones in the foot make up over 25% of the bones in the body? There are 54 bones in the feet – 26 in each foot. The human skeleton has a total of 206 bones, so the feet have over ¼ of the total number of bones. Given this, it is not surprising that this mini-sequence focusing on waking up the feet has a refreshing effect on the whole body. Enjoy!
Virasana (Hero pose) or Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero pose) with belt around legs: 3-5 minutes
Vajrasana (Thunderbolt pose) variations
- Ankles belted, heels together: 1 minute
- Toes curled under, alternating with toes stretched back, leaning back to lift knees and stretch front of ankles- 2-3 times
- Blanket roll behind knee – move from back of knee crease progressively down to bottom of calf muscle: 10-30 seconds in each position.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)- lifting toes, move weight toward back of metatarsals, stretch sole of foot
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) with blanket roll under metatarsals
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-standing Forward Bend)
Malasana II (Garland Pose) heels supported as needed, holding backs of ankles,
Some of the specific benefits of this sequence are:
- Stretches and strengthens the connective tissue of the feet
- Stretches and strengthens the arches of the feet
- Stretches the calf muscles, especially the gastrocnemius muscle, and the hamstrings
- Improves range of motion in the feet and ankles
All this leads to greater sensitivity and improved balance – the feet and ankles get more pliable, responsive. And, this work benefits not only the feet and ankle joints, but also the knees and the hips.