Out of many possible physical exercises, ankle stretch is one of the easiest and most effective yoga asana for activating ankles, toes, feet and legs meridians. This is one of the most versatile pose, which offers the following benefits:
1. It helps in strengthening the ankles by opening it up and making it flexible.
2. It offers strong stimulus to meridians flowing through the ankle and especially the feet.
3. It is one of the most effective counter-posture for toe exercise and squatting.
Signs you should take care of
1. People who are having difficulty in sitting on the heels may use adequate cushion to rest their ankles, thighs and claves to ease discomfort.
2. If someone feels sharp pain in ankles during doing this pose, he should immediately restrain from doing this activity. Sharp stimulus is results of nerve compression that should be avoided for it may further damage the nerves.
How to start this ankle stretch asana?
1. Make yourself rest on a comfortable position.
2. Try to kneel-down and sit on the heels keeping your ankles down and resting on the ground.
3. If you feel sharp pain in this, try using cushion.
4. If the problem still persists, this may not be the pose for you.
Optional alternative arrangements
1. You can also do this pose sitting with the rest of your hands and arching backward as it is in case of a back-bend exercise.
2. Keep your chest open and thrust it high with your body arch.
3. Remain aware of collapsing backward, which must be prevented at any cost.
4. Try to bring your hands beside your legs gradually and slowly.
5. Always try not to lean away from your knees.
6. Now, try holding your knees gently pulling them towards your chest so as to allow your ankles to stretch.
How to revert to normal/ counter poses
1. When you feel backing off, try leaning forward on your knees with your hands on the floor beside your knees.
2. Gradually step one foot at a time and step-out slowly to a push-up position.
3. This act neutralises the stretch on the ankles and helps you to come back to the normal.
4. Chaturanga/ Pushup/ Plank/ Crocodile/ Squatting – all these are considered counter to the Ankle stretch, which makes your legs straight and tucks your toes in.
Which part and organs of the body are affected?
With this ankle stretch asana the gull bladder, spleen, stomach and liver gets a strong stimulation. The posture activates the feel and legs meridians.
Joints affected directly by this asana
This asana directly stretches your ankle bones making them flexible and free.
Recommended stretch of time
Ideally this asana should be practices for about one minute at the beginning.
Some other benefits…
This is a relaxing pose as considered an effective counter-pose for sitting meditation, toe squat and others where there is a stretch of feet. This neutralises the effects of stretch and simultaneously stimulates your digestive system as well.