1. Come to a kneeling position. Rock your weight forward, bringing hands to floor and tuck your toes under so that your heels pop up. Sit back onto your heels, hands resting on your lap. (If this is too much on your knees, place a block or pillow underneath your booty.)
2. Keep your knees and thighs zipped together and sit up tall.
3. This is an intense stretch in the toes and arch of the foot but try to stay with it and not to back off. Focus on your breath to help you stay in the posture. If it’s really too much on the underside of the foot, ease up some of the pressure by bringing your hands to the floor or a block in front of you.
4. Take 10 deeps breaths (count to 4 on the inhale and 4 on the exhale) with toes tucked under.
5. Rock your weight forward again and untuck your toes. Let the heels splay open. Sit back in between your feet, heels hugging hips. (Again, if this is too much on the knees, place a block or pillow underneath your booty.)
6. Keep your knees as close together as possible and zip up between the thighs. Make sure you’re keeping a nice long spine, crown of head reaching toward the ceiling.
7. Take 10 deeps breaths (count to 4 on the inhale and 4 on the exhale) then slowly release.
8. Bring your legs out long in front of you in a seated position. Give them a good wiggle and shake to release the knees, ankles and feet.
How it will heal you:
Knee Injuries – We all know someone that has torn their meniscus, had a knee replacement, or had some sort of debilitating knee injury. Our knees take a serious beating from all of the physical stuff we do day in and day out—not to mention the high heels some of us ladies rock to look lovely but brutalize our bodies from the tippy toes on up. The best way to prevent pain and avoid trouble is to keep the hips, IT band and hamstrings strong and flexible. Hips, IT band and hamstring mobility keeps the work in your bigger muscle groups (hamstrings and quadriceps) rather than the body’s default of looking to the place of least resistance–which is almost always the knee joint–for speed, power and agility. If you give the body freedom to move using your large muscle groups and stabilizers it will learn not to rely upon vulnerable and complex joints.
Foot and Ankle Issues – I can’t tell you have many times I wrenched my ankle playing soccer and field hockey as a kid, or more recently while hiking and running. Ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis are three very common foot and ankle injuries. These injuries are no fun because let’s face it, when our foundation is out of whack everything else is thrown off and dysfunctional. The answer to avoiding these frustrating beasts of burden is to strengthen the ankle, increase the flexibility of the ankle and toes and work on your balance. Not only does this require concerted effort to increase the openness in these areas but it also means more core work. Core is your key to stability, meaning you’ll be less likely to get thrown off balance and tweak something if your abdominal and back muscles are strong.