Yoga offers numerous physical and mental benefits, including joint health. Proper training is required to maintain the health of our feet and ankles, especially after injury, trauma, or surgery. Yoga postures can enhance proprioception, which is the ability to perceive our body in space and enable movement. Stretching exercises are also crucial to improving muscle flexibility, promoting fluid movement in the feet and ankles, and regaining full functionality.
To start with, here’s a simple exercise that strengthens the feet and ankles and also works the calves:
- Stand on a yoga mat, lean forward, and place your hands on the floor.
- Ensure your feet are aligned with your hands and your heels are firmly grounded.
- Gradually move forward and aim to bring your head close to your knees, extending your hands toward your toes while gently pulling them.
Besides yoga, daily stretching exercises are essential for muscle flexibility and fluid movement in the feet and ankles.
Hereby, another simple exercise: stand facing a wall with your arms outstretched and palms resting against it. Apply pressure against the wall as if trying to push it. Bend one knee while keeping the heel on the ground and extend the other leg back, ensuring both heels and feet remain in contact with the wall. You’ll feel a natural stretch in your calf muscles in this position. Squat with your heels on the ground and repeat this exercise 4-5 times thrice daily. Lastly, hold the squat position and repeat this exercise 3-4 times daily.
Incorporating these yoga and stretching exercises into your daily routine can significantly benefit the health of your feet and ankles.