Ankle mobility is essential for overall posture and injury prevention. However, many yogis don’t focus on improving the range of motion in their ankles. All the same, you can still tailor your practice to help you achieve this goal! Here are 3 yoga poses to improve ankle mobility:
Yoga Poses to Improve Ankle Mobility
Malasana or Garland Pose is a well-known hip opener, but it can also help release the ankles. It helps provide compression in the ankles, and gives it enough healthy pressure so that when you come out of the pose, they feel good as new.
From your Table Top position, step your right foot outside your right hand and your left foot outside your left hand. Sit your bum low, and open your hips out towards the side. Feel the stretch in your groin and hips. Keep your chest open and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
If you have tight ankles, they can have a hard time touching the floor. To help with this, you can put a block underneath your hips and a blanket under your heels.
2. Ankle Stretch
This Yin Yoga pose can feel very intense, especially to beginners! Be sure to have yoga blocks or a pillow to help assist you with this pose.
Sit on your heels with your toes untucked. If this already adds a lot of pressure in your ankles, then you can modify by putting a block in between your shins and using it as support for your hips. If you feel that you can go further, though, you can bring your hands behind you and shift your shoulders behind your hips.
Finally, you can lift up your knees. You’ll feel a deep stretch in the fronts of your ankles. You can also put yoga blocks or a pillow underneath the knees for more elevation. Hold for up to 3 minutes. You can counter this pose by doing Downward Facing Dog after.
Dragon serves as a deep stretch for the hip flexors and the quadriceps, but you can also practice it to release the ankle and improve ankle mobility.
From your Down Dog or Table Top, step your right foot forward. Lower the left thigh down on your yoga mat. Sink your groin and your hips down. Then, shift your weight slightly forward and bring the right knee slightly ahead of the left ankle. Press the toes down and lift up through the arches of the right foot.
Stay here for a few minutes, before releasing the pose and performing Dragon on the other side.
These yoga poses to improve ankle mobility are great to practice, whether you’re doing Vinyasa or Yin. If you have ankle or knee pain, though, be sure to discuss other possible modifications with your healthcare provider and yoga teacher. Enjoy!