The foot and ankle contain 26 bones (One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet.); 30 joints; more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments The main tendon of the foot is the Achilles tendon. There are three arches.
The main ligaments of the foot are:
· plantar fascia – the longest ligament of the foot. The ligament, which runs along the sole of the foot, from the heel to the toes, forms the arch. By stretching and contracting, the plantar fascia helps us balance and gives the foot strength for walking.
· plantar calcaneonavicular ligament – a ligament of the sole of the foot
· calcaneocuboid ligament – the ligament that helps the plantar fascia support the arch of the foot.
Standing work for the feet.
Firstly, standing, press down though the four corners of the feet (the big toe mound, the baby toe mound, the inner heel and the outer heel), lifting the arches, and equally distributing weight between each foot. Then, lift the toes towards the sky while standing to activate the foot muscles, and lift the arches and ground through the four corners of the feet.
Secondly, stand heel to toe and balance as if on a tightrope. Twist from side to side keeing the feet pressing down firmly, holding the arms in a cactus shape.
Yoga postures for the feet
- Virasana-Hero Pose – sitting on the heels
- Baddha Konasana-Cobbler Pose
- Squat with Toe Stretch (knees on floor)
- Squat (knees up, heels on floor)
- Adho Mukha Svanasana-Downward Facing Dog
- All Standing Poses – such as warrior 2
- Viparita Karani-Legs up the wall
Stand: draw the big toe up and press the four little toes down. Draw the four little toes up while pressing the big toe down. Draw the big toe and baby toe up as you press the three middle toes down. Draw the three middle toes up while pressing the big toe and baby toe down.
Point and Flex Foot
Sit with the legs outstretched in front of you, point the toes away from the body and flex the foot by drawing the toes towards the body. This creates mobility in the ankle as well as strengthening the muscles of the feet and ankle.
Slowly take the ankle in circles in both directions clockwise and counter-clockwise. This can be done from sitting in a chair, or lying on your back on the floor. This action stretches and strengthens the foot and ankle muscles while maintaining mobility in the ankle and foot joints.
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