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Standing on your own two feet

They say that the soles of the feet are the maps of our body and just a little bit further up are your ankles. In my opinion, the ankles are the guides of your mobility.

Sunday 14 September 2014, 01:00PM

Kim White


The ankles are the main hinges on one of the bodies biggest extremities, the legs. However the ankles are mostly overlooked and this results in a lack of movement and flexion but the bend has to go somewhere right?

So it travels to the next joint, the knees and they overcompensate. If the knees are tight, it will travel to the hips and tight hips result in lower back pain. So what you are left with, is a battlefield of stress and pain from ankles all the way to the back. That doesn’t sound comfortable at all!

Luckily, there are two simple stretches that will help to alleviate your ankle and foot flexibility. The key to improving ankle flexibility and all flexibility for that matter, is regular repetition. I am not sure these two stretches have a yogic name but that doesn’t mean they are not doing you some good.

Let’s look at the benefits:

Improves ankle and leg mobility
Helps to prevent and is a great relief for shin splints
Increases knee flexibility
Reduces swelling in the feet
Improves plantar fascia (tissue on the arch of the foot) flexibility
Improves thigh, lower back and butt flexibility
Improves ankle flexion, which will improve a bad posture.
So let’s look at how to practise these two postures.

1 Come on to your hands and knees, keeping your ankles and knees pressed together.
2 Push your bottom back and sit on your heels.
3 For some of you, this position will already result in a strong stretch. My advice here is to place a towel or blanket under your knees (see photo one) and hold the stretch here.
4 If you are comfortable and would like to progress, place your left hand beside your knee for support and your right hand on your right knee.
5 On an exhalation lean back deeper onto your heels and lift the right knee off the floor. (see photo two and three).
6 Hold this posture for 30 seconds to a minute and then repeat on the other side.

1 Coming from the last posture, lean forward and take the bottom off of the heels, hands on the floor in front of your knees
2 Curl your toes towards your shins so you are resting on the balls of your feet. (It is okay to reach around and use your hands to get a better bend in the toes.)
3 Press your bottom back and sit back onto your heels, aiming to have your head and shoulder upright, on top of your heels. (See photo 4.)
4 Hold this posture for 30 sec to 1 minute.

You’re are one step away from
enhanced mobility!
Enjoy and see you next month

Happy stretching!
Kim oxo



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