Bent Moment - feet & ankles

Tight or weak ankles, flat feet (collapsed arches) and knees benefit from this practice.

There are three main arches within the foot; the inner (medial) arch that most people associate with a foot, the outer (lateral) arch which runs along the small toe side of the foot and the transverse arch which runs along the base of the toe pads. Learn how to strengthen each of these arches, to open and strengthen the ankles.

Virasana (hero's pose):

  • kneel on a firm surface*, knees close together, ankles slightly wider than your hips

  • sit back between your ankles, moving the calf muscles outward with your hands: check in on your way down for mobility (see below under 'assistance' if you are having difficulties)

  • look at your knees, the thighs should be no wider than parallel with each other

  • look at the outside line of the lower leg: adjust the ankle so there is a straight line from the outside of the knee all the way to the small toe: if the ankles are bowing out, bring them in against the outside of the hip/if they are bowing in, move them away from the outside hip wedging something in to support the ankle if necessary

  • extend the toes back, spread the toes, press down on the front of the foot and shin

  • build up the time you spend in this pose

  • when it is time to come out it is important to open the backs of the knees, one way is to lean forward until you are on your hands and knees. Extend one leg behind you reaching back with the heel, toes tucked under, until the leg is straight, hold for a bit, return that knee and then extend the opposite leg.