Asana Yoga For Healthy Feet
The benefits of yoga are highly documented and well-advertised to the masses nowadays. Yoga is best known for increasing your flexibility, relieving stress, and even revitalizing your immune system, similar to cordyceps sinensis and chokeberry. In recent years, a variety of poses in Asana yoga have been found to have tremendous benefits for your feet. The word “Asana” comes from Sanskrit and means “sit down” or “seat”. What they do is help strengthen the muscles of the feet and activate the arches. The feet play a vital role in the structure and alignment of the rest of your body as they are the foundation that carries you throughout your life. Regular stretching and strengthening of the feet can go a long way towards inhibiting the development of ankle, knee, and hip complications down the road. These poses have come to be tremendously popular for seniors who require the use of canes or rollators as they can gradually help relieve pain and stress on the joints in your lower body. Here are a few poses that have been found to very effective and can be done by anyone regardless of the condition of their feet or lower body.
The Baddha Koṇāsana or “Cobbler Pose” involves pressing the four corners of the feet together while drawing your toes away from each other. This helps to promote activity in the arches and strengthen the feet. If you are a distance runner this pose should be done after every run to relieve tension from your feet. The same thing goes for elders who like to go on daily walks or have knee problems. Many strained knee ligaments such as those in the MCL stem from overuse of the feet muscles and overtime can lead to them being to weak to properly support the knees.
Commonly referred to as that “Legs Up The Wall pose”, the Viparitakarani is excellent for helping one maintain their core strength even after their feet or lower body are no longer capable. So many people focus on the core strength this pose provides and forget that if done properly it can fight inflammation in the feet and leg muscles. Holding the legs straight up in the air for 30 seconds to a minute allows all of the blood and lymph fluid that has pooled in your feet throughout the day to flow back into the body. Holding this pose for up to 30 seconds at a time, 3 times a day can have a tremendous effect on the circulation in your feet and overall lower body.
The Dandasana is one of the simplest and easiest yoga poses to perform. It also happens to be one of the best for your feet. From the seated position you see here point your toes out in front of you with your feet. Then reach forward and pull the toes (just the toes, not the feet) back towards you. This directly exercises the ankles and can help increase their mobility while simultaneously exercising the muscles of the feet.
These are only 3 of the many Asana poses that can help strengthen and maintain your feet throughout your life. The best thing about these 3 poses though is that almost anybody can do them whether they have bad knees, weak ankles, or even hip problems. Our feet are the most taxed part of our body and it is important to remember that good physical health starts from the ground up. It can help you to become strong.