Feet are the main motor transportation that takes one through life. Arthritis of the foot can incapacitate a person by triggering aches and stiffness in the joints of toes and ankles.
However, the gentle practice of yoga exercises could facilitate realignment of the arthritis-stricken joints and allay pressure felt on every joint of your feet.
Best Yoga Exercises For Foot Arthritis
Outlined herewith are some beneficial yoga exercises for people with arthritic feet that can bring about postural improvement and enhance range of motion in inflamed joints of your feet. These exercises help to remove impure energy from the feet and facilitate the healing process.
Stick Pose (Dandasana)
Commence by being seated on an exercise mat with legs outstretched in front of you. Position your palms comfortably behind you on the mat for supporting an erect back. You then draw the feet closer to each other. One needs to concentrate on breathing technique while performing the exercise.
Toe Stretches in Stick Pose
As you breathe in the toes ought to be stretched inward towards you. Hold this posture till a count of three. You then breathe out and simultaneously curl all the toes outwards and down towards the mat to an extent that is physically comfortable. This pose is held for a count of three and then toes are brought to neutral position. The above steps should be repeated for 5-6 times daily to allay arthritis foot discomfort.
Feet Stretches in Stick Pose
Both the feet are now entirely stretched inward towards you during inhalation and the pose held for three seconds. While exhaling both the feet are then gently bent outwards and down till a degree that is within your personal comfort zone.After holding this pose for the same period of time one then reverts to neutral position and repeats the above steps thrice.
Feet Rotations in Stick Pose
Whilst seated with outstretched legs the feet are then slowly rotated in clockwise and then counter-clockwise direction for three times each.
There are essentially 4 corners of your feet, namely mound underneath the large toe, mound underneath the smallest toe, outer and inside sides of heel. Chair yoga helps to bring awareness to these corners for awakening the feet and creating apposite balance.
Feet Flexing in Seated Chair Yoga
Begin by being seated on a chair with feet placed parallel to each other and touching the floor. Try reconnecting with those corners, a foot at a time. The second toe of your foot ought to be lined up with the central part of ankle (talus). Raise that foot a few inches off the ground and create ample space between all your toes.
The mound under the large toe is then placed down. Start stretching from here up to the inner side of your heel which must then also be placed down. One then stretches from the inner side of heel obliquely till the mound under your smallest toe and analogously place it down. One then lengthens foot from the mound under the tiny toe right up to the outer side of heel.
Toe Flexing in Standing Chair Yoga
Hold a chair from its backside while taking your right heel down and toes up on one of the rods. Try creating space between your toes with the rod and going as far as you can breathe and keep a calm face
Slowly try pressing more into the ball of the foot while keeping the chair steady with your hands. Try doing this through each toe and going through one time on each side.
Vajrasana (Thunderbolt) Pose
Begin by being seated on an exercise mat on the balls of your feet, knees close together and each one of the toes spread out. Bring the hands back for individually creating sufficient inter-digit gaps and flexing the toes on both feet so that there is equal distribution of bodily weight on each one of them.
Sideways Hip Swinging in Vajrasana Pose
While being seated on ankles with toes curled underneath the heels and hands rested on lap you then gently put a little weight on your feet while gradually going from side to side for opening up every toe.
While swaying hips from side-to-side one can feel the balls of the feet stretch open and breathe deeply into that.
Back Bend in Vajrasana Pose
Come on to the tops of your feet and hoist your knees slightly upwards while hinging backwards. One eventually would be seated on the feet with knees off the mat whilst the upper body slightly arches backwards in this pose. If this is too difficult to perform then one can even simply be seated on the tops of your feet. Breathe deeply as you stay in this pose till a count of three.
Feet Flexing in Puppy Dog Yoga Pose
Sit on your feet over an exercise mat and stretch your hands out in front of you. Now, come on all fours as you flex your feet while bringing your buttocks back down towards the heels of the feet with hands outstretched and palms touching the mat.
Stay in this posture till a count of five for gently opening up the feet and breathe deeply through it. Repeat the above steps for a couple of times.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana
Start by coming on your palms and knees over an exercise mat. You then gently raise your tailbone or coccyx high up in the air. Next, one gently presses down on the left heel with merely the toes over the mat. During this time the right leg is kept motionless with entire foot touching the mat as a nice stretch is felt. Breathe deeply as you switch between your feet. Eventually, the right and left heel are pressed down on the mat in downward-facing dog posture.
With passage of time one can easily hoist one leg up to the ceiling as the other leg stays in touch with the mat and the hands are outstretched in front of you. You then slowly lower the foot down to the mat. One is essentially stretching one foot at a time with the coccyx pointed towards the roof while hands help to maintain balance on the mat. Slowly switch feet and ensure that you don’t slip while doing so. Knees are then gently bent while one walks one’s hands gently towards one’s feet and then standing up erect.
Toe-Flexing in Standing Yoga Mudra (Standing Scaling Pose)
Use your hands to envelope and literally hug your legs as the head points towards your knees. Keep knees straightened as you perform deep breathing till a count of five.
Now reach the arms behind your back for entwining the fingers. The shoulder blades or scapulas are then squeezed as the hands are raised up till they are straight and flex all your toes to point towards your chin. Hold the pose for 2-3 deep breaths. Unlock fingers and bring them down slowly while slightly bending the knees. Uncurl toes while you gently roll up into erect standing position.