Ankle Stretch

Benefits:
  • Opens and strengthens the ankles
  • Strong stimulation of four meridians flowing through the feet and ankles
  • Great counter pose for squatting or toe exercises

Contra-indications:
  • If there is any sharp pain in the ankles, back off. Try placing a blanket or towel under the feet to cushion them.
  • Knee issues may prevent you from sitting on the heels. Placing a rolled-up towel behind the knees may be very therapeutic, but a cushion between the thighs and calves may be required.

Getting Into the Pose:
  • Begin by sitting on the heels. If your ankles or knees complain, this may not be the pose for you.

Alternatives & Options:
  • Leaning back on the hands is the first position (and the least stressful), but beware of collapsing backward. Keep the heart forward, and imagine you are trying to do a backbend.
  • After a few moments, bring the hands to the floor beside your legs.
  • Try not to lean away from the knees. Keep the heart open, arching the back forward.
  • Finally, try holding the knees and gently pulling them toward the chest.

Coming Out of the Pose:
  • Lean forward and bring your hands to the floor beside the knees. Slowly step one foot at a time back to a push-up position.

Counter poses:
  • Pushup/Plank/Chaturanga, Crocodile or any posture that straightens the legs and tucks the toes under.
  • Dangling or Squatting is also nice.

Meridians & Organs Affected:
  • Stomach, Spleen, Liver, Gall Bladder lines are strongly stimulated.

Joints Affected:
  • The ankle.

Recommended Hold Times:
  • About one minute. Relatively intense, this shouldn't be held for a long time if there is a lot of discomfort. In time you may be able to sit like this for a very long time.

Other Notes:
  • This is a nice counterpose for many postures that stress the feet, such as Toe Squat, regular Squat, and sitting meditations.



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