So many of us walk on our feet all day, but we totally forget to take care of them. We’ll do all the yoga poses to help stretch our hips or hamstrings (everyone’s favorites), but we often totally forget to stretch our feet. Back when I was training for marathons, I was actually able to avoid a full-blown case of plantar fasciitis with careful stretching of my calves and the bottom of my feet. So, if you’re like I was and you’ve been neglecting your feet, I think you’ll love this yoga sequence for feet and ankles.
Disclaimer: I am a yoga teacher, but I’m not your yoga teacher. Always practice yoga mindfully and if you have any questions, consult with your teacher. AND, if you have any injuries, be sure to consult with your medical professional before following a yoga sequence or routine, particularly one that targets any injured areas of the body you might have.
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Video: Yoga Sequence for Feet and Ankles
Ready to dive in? Here’s the full video of the sequence. Make sure to subscribe to the Sublimely Fit YouTube channel, too!
Yoga Sequence for Feet and Ankles: the Poses
I created this yoga sequence for feet and ankles with all of my favorite yoga poses for feet. In fact, some of these poses made my list of yoga poses runners should be doing but probably aren’t because runners can really use these poses to keep their feet healthy. But, whether your feet are just sore at the end of the day or you’re trying to build flexibility in your feet and ankles, this sequence and the poses in it will help.
One important thing to note: when you’re focusing on your feet and ankles, make sure you’re also stretching your calves, too. (Need help? Here’s a free yoga video to help you stretch your calves.) You have tendons that run from your calf muscles to your ankle, heel, and foot, like the Achilles (calcaneal) tendon. And, there are a lot of ligaments that are running through your ankle and lower leg, too. If your calves are very tight, those tendons can pull too much on the ankle and heel, causing all sorts of foot problems like plantar fasciitis—that’s what happened to me. So, when you’re stretching your feet and ankles, be sure to throw in a couple of down dogs to stretch your calves, too. (Plus, Downward Facing Dog is a great counter-pose to a lot of the poses featured below.)
Here are the poses featured in this sequence:
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Child’s Pose is not only a great relaxing pose, but it also helps to open the tops of your feet. To use this pose as a foot stretch, really focus on pressing the tops of your feet and your shins into your mat. And, shift your hips back over your heels, which will help intensify the stretch.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
I like Chair Pose (along with Downward Facing Dog) as a way to begin to warm up and wake up the feet and ankles.
Drinking Bird Pose
From Chair Pose, you can sweep your arms back and come up on your tippy toes for Drinking Bird Pose. This pose also helps warm up and wake up the ankles and feet.
Hero Pose (Virasana)
Hero Pose is a great way to stretch the tops of your ankles and feet, but I only recommend doing it after your feet and ankles have warmed up. If your feet are very tight, you can place a blanket under your knees and shins, or you can sit on a tall block, which can help alleviate some of the pressure on your feet.
Toe Squat Pose (Vajrasana variation)
Toe Squat Pose is a great way to open up the bottoms of your feet and to stretch the plantar fascia. This pose can be modified by sitting on a tall block, placing a blanket under your knees and shins, and/or placing a blanket between your thighs and calves.
Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
Thunderbolt Pose is similar to hero pose. But, instead of having your feet and ankles to the outside of your hips, you sit on your heels. The weight of your body helps press the tops of your feet and ankles into the mat. Like with Toe Squat Pose, you can modify this pose by placing a blanket under your knees and shins (taking pressure off of your feet and ankles). You can also take a blanket and place it between the back of your thigh and the back of your shins, which can help take some pressure off your knees.
Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
I ended this sequence with Happy Baby Pose because when you flex your feet, it helps to open the tendons and ligaments at the back of your ankles and feet. And, it’s just a really fun pose to practice, too. You can use happy baby as a counter pose to any of the other poses that open the tops of your feet (Child’s Pose, Hero Pose, Thunderbolt Pose). And, you can have fun while you’re doing it. Win-win.