by Barrie Risman
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 roll under metatarsals Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-standing Forward Bend) Malasana II (Garland Pose) heels supported as needed, holding backs of ankles, Understanding the benefits of poses can help transform the resistance into willingness. 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.