It has been thousands of years that people have used yoga as a physical and mental exercise to build up and maintain a strong body. Yoga is also a great method of physical therapy for physical ailments and pains that occur in many different areas of the body. There are thousands of different yoga poses that help target the lower body and also the ankles that are taught in yoga teacher training.
Extended Side-Angle Pose
This pose is an asana that helps stretch and strengthen the torso as well as the parts of your lower body such as your knees and your ankles. Your body is extended from the back of one of your heels to an outstretched arm. Your feet are 3-4 feet apart in the pose and your body is in a sideways lunge using one arm. The hand that is opposite the direction of the lunge should be stretch over the head with palms facing down. Your other arm is resting on or just next to the leg that is bent. The therapeutic applications of the pose include sciatica, constipation, lower back pain, and even menstrual discomfort. Yoga teaching will provide information on how to modify any pose that is practiced.
This pose is done in a standing position. The beginning of this pose is also a starting point for many other yoga poses. Your body should be stretched from a position that looks like a squat with your arms stretch up above your head. Your feet are flat on the floor and shoulders should be square and arms either joined or separate. This pose is used to create strength in your ankles, calves, knees, thighs and your spine. It is a great therapeutic tool to use for flat feet.
Yoga teacher training will tell you that this pose is one of the most difficult positions in yoga. It requires you to be fully concentrating, have intense endurance, flexibility and strength. This is a standing pose that when done correctly looks like you are wrapping your limbs around each other while you are balancing on one leg. The balancing leg stays slightly bend and the other leg is wrapped around it. Your arms are in front of your face and are also wrapped around each other. The eagle pose stretches and strengthens your ankles as well as the thighs, hips, upper back and shoulders. It can be used to treat sciatica and back pain.
This pose is a sitting pose. You begin this pose with one leg straight and held up parallel to the torso with your hands cupping your heel. Your other leg is bent and curled back with the foot next to the hip. Your spine should be extended and your chin placed on the knees of the leg that is being help in the air. Those just starting out may not be able to extend and straighten the leg in the air while cupping the foot. This pose is great for yoga teaching and stretching the Achilles tendon and hamstrings.
Yoga teacher training knows that any balancing poses will help strengthen your feet, ankles and thighs. Tree pose is a basic balancing pose that improves posture. Begin with shifting your weight to your left foot. Then bring the sole of your right foot towards your ankle, calf or inner groin. Place your foot anywhere except on your knee. Bring both hands together at your heart center and balance there for 30 seconds. Release and change your balancing foot.
This pose is a standing pose that build strength in your ankles. Step your right foot forward and bend your right knee. Make sure to keep your right knee in line with your right foot. Then extend your left leg to the back of your mat and keep your left heel lifted off the yoga mat. Press your feet firmly into the ground and lift your torso to stand. Stay in this position for 30 second, release and repeat with opposite side.
Strong ankles are so important to your standing alignment and structural health. Yoga teacher training knows that the key to a healthy body stems from doing yoga with proper alignment. Knee, hip and lower back pain can be the cause of weak ankles. Yoga poses can help you develop toned ankle muscle and help align your stance.