Posts tagged with: Ankle

YPFW :: Tree pose

The Tree Pose is also known as Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-anna), vrksa meaning tree.

The Tree Pose helps strengthen your thighs, calves, ankles and back. It can also increase the flexibility of hips and groin area. With consistent practice, both your balance and your concentration can be improved. This pose is recommended for women with sciatica and flat feet.

To do the Tree Pose, begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Shift weight slightly onto left foot, keeping inner foot firm to floor, bend right knee. Reach down with right hand and clasp right ankle.

Draw right foot up and place sole against inner left thigh; if possible, press right heel into inner left groin, toes pointing toward floor. Center of pelvis should be directly over left foot. Rest hands on top rim of pelvis. Make sure pelvis is in neutral position, with the top rim parallel to floor.

Lengthen tailbone toward floor. Firmly press right foot sole against inner thigh and resist with outer left leg. Press hands together in Anjali Mudra (AHN-jah-lee MOO-dra). Gaze softly at a fixed point in front on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with an exhalation and repeat for same length of time with legs reversed.

This is one of my favorite yoga poses ever. It really works my brain because I have to keep myself balanced both physically and mentally!

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Extended side angle pose

Sticking with some great back stretching and posture-enhancing ideas, I’m bringing you the extended side angle pose today.

“The spine is responsible for sending messages throughout your body, and when you’re hunched, the pathway isn’t as smooth,” says Alison West, Yoga Union Center for Back Care and Scoliosis co-director.

Stand with your feet about four feet apart and turn your left foot out about 90 degrees.
Extend your arms, palms down, at shoulder height.
Bend your left knee until it’s over your ankle.
Flex from the waist to the left and place your left hand outside your left foot. (Can’t reach the floor? Place your elbow on your knee or your hand on the inside of your foot–as shown below–­instead.)
Reach your right arm over your ear and turn your chin toward your right armpit.
Look up and take five slow breaths.
Return to standing and switch sides.
Repeat 3 to 5 times.

New to yoga? Do the move with your back against a wall. “Using the wall takes the balance component out of it,” West says, “so you can concentrate on lengthening your spine and rolling your chest open.”

I can attest to the beauty of this move. I live with chronic back pain (thank you ankylosing spondylitis) and this both stretches my spine and invigorates me! I absolutely recommend this move!

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Training while injured

Minor abrasion injury.
Image via Wikipedia

Creative Commons License photo credit: IntangibleArts

Last week I tore a tendon in my left foot. Since then I’ve been on & off crutches (mostly off because a) they make me sore and b) they make people stare at me), resting ice on the foot and keeping it as elevated as I can. The part of this that’s killing me though is that I’ve not been able to exercise. I’ve been told to stay off the foot as much as I can so that I don’t tear it even more, and that’s driving me batty.

What can you do if you’re stuck on your bum after you’re used to training pretty hard?

1. Limited upper- or lower-body exercises. Use your free/hand-weights and work on your arms, shoulders and back while your foot is resting above your heart. If you can stand it, do some rowing while your lower body is stationary. If your shoulders are bothering you, ride a stationary bike and keep your upper body as stable as possible. Even while running, you can keep your upper body relatively stable if you concentrate on it.

2. Use your stability ball. Work on your abs while your foot or your shoulder heals. Use it to strengthen your core while your other muscles get a bit of a break.

3.  Swimming. Swimming is relatively easy on all of your body parts, and even just “walking” in the water can be easy on your legs. While my back was healing from a previous injury, I wore a floaty-belt and “walked” around the 8-foot-deep pool for an hour. I was more fit after healing than I was before being injured!

4. Try some extra stretching. See how flexible you can get your lower body while your back heals. See if you can relax your back and neck enough that you’re pain-free while your rolled ankle takes care of itself.

There are definitely options for physical activity if you’re injured, you may just have to be creative with your ideas. Have you ever been injured and wanted to continue working out? What did you do?

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