After a long day walking around on your feet, you may notice some fatigue or even swollen ankles. Some runners and other physical practitioners have told me they have been diagnosed, by their doctors, with plantar faciitis. As I tell my dancers, "anything iitis means inflamed". So Plantar, meaning the bottom part of your foot, fascia, meaning the connective tissue, is iitis or inflamed and can become a terrible discomfort to say the least. I will be offering, in this part, some stretches that help relieve some discomfort for all humans with feet problems or discomfort in their feet. These stretches and exercises I have been doing most of my life as a dancer. Either after a long day of classes and rehearsals or finding time in between (classes and rehearsals) to take care our "dogs".
Exercise 1. Toe Stretch/Toe Squat
If you come to any of my yoga classes, this is one of my favorite poses and I incorporate it into my daily practices. This toe stretch comes from Yin yoga where the focus is to slow down the practice to get all of the nourishment and benefits from the poses. Haven't tried a Yin yoga class yet? I highly recommend it especially for high stress personalities and lifestyles.
At first, this maybe too intense to hold for 1 minute, so take it slow and in increments. One day at a time. Reminder to check that the toes are spread wide (those with bunions, check that the big toe also is spread wide) . This pose I do for my bunions and will share more bunion relief foot care later.
Exercise 2. Ankle Stretch
This is the counter stretch to toe squat. This one also maybe too intense at first, so take it slow. Maybe use props under hands or knees.
I am using my stomach and pelvic floor to help lift me. More traditionally you wouldn't need to go so high up onto the toes. In Yin yoga you go only 75% of energy and into the pose and by holding the pose for a longer amount of time you receive the benefits. I also like to play with rocking forward and back as well as knees lifting and lowering to find some deeply hidden "nooks and crannies" of a stretch.
NOT ENOUGH??? NEED TO DIG DEEPER INTO THE PLANTAR?
Exercise 3. The Roll Out
Using a ball of your choice (or even a stick like roller pin) use it to help alleviate tension in the bottom of your feet. Some of my students might remember when we used to do this foot massage either in yoga class or my dancing students. Starting with soft knees and toes in-line start with the ball either in the ball of your foot (a little more intense) or under the ball of the foot. I like to go all the way from big toe to little toe across and then up and down in between the toe joints. I've gone ahead and made a little dity on how to execute The Roll Out. Enjoy!
This process took a bit longer as I was learning how to edit the video on Youtube. Learning as I grow.
Take care this week!!!