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"Through the practice of these limbs of yoga, impurity is overcome and wisdom and an enduring capacity to make distinctions are achieved." - Yoga Sutra-2.28. 

We sometimes forget to take care of the small joints and muscles that help us run, walk and even stand. There are a few yoga asanas which are specifically done to improve the mobility of the feet, ankles and toes.  

There are three yoga asanas which can help in improving the strength and flexibility of the feet, ankles and toes:

  • Padanguli naman: Known as the toe bending pose in English, this asana involves the stretching of the toes.
  • Goolf naman: It is also known as the ankle bending pose. This asana involves the stretching of the joints of the ankles and muscles at the back of the legs.
  • Goolf chakra: It is also known as the ankle rotation pose. This asana involves the movement of the ankle joint and stretching the muscles of the thigh and the back of the legs.
  1. Steps to perform yoga poses for feet, ankles and toes
  2. Benefits of yoga poses for feet, ankles and toes
  3. Precautions for yoga poses for feet, ankles and toes
  4. Doctors for Yoga poses for feet and ankles

In order to perform asanas for feet, ankles and toes, you need to sit in the base position. In the base position, you must:

  • Sit on a flat surface (floor or yoga mat) with your legs outstretched and the feet together (the feet should not touch each other).
  • The palm of your hands should be placed on the floor to the sides, slightly behind your buttocks.
  • Keep your, back neck and head straight and straighten the elbows.
  • Lean back slightly while taking the support of the arms.

Steps to correctly perform Padanguli Naman

Following are the correct steps to do the Padanguli Naman:

  • Get into the base position and keep your spine straight.
  • Now move the toes of both feet slowly backwards and forwards. Make sure that your feet are upright and the ankles are relaxed. Only the toes should move and the rest of the leg should be motionless.
  • Repeat the asana 10 times.

Steps to correctly perform Goolf Naman

Following are the correct steps to do the Goolf Naman:

  • Stay in the base position to perform this asana.
  • Slowly move both feet backwards and forwards by bending them from the ankle joints.
  • Try to stretch the feet forward to touch the floor and then draw them back towards the knees.
  • Repeat the asana 10 times.

Steps to correctly perform Goolf Chakra

Following are the correct steps to do the Goolf Chakra:

  • Stay in the base position but keep your legs shoulder-width apart.
  • First, rotate the ankle of the right foot clockwise. Do this 10 times. Then rotate the ankle of the right foot in the anti-clockwise direction 10 times.
  • Repeat the same action with the left foot.
  • Now, slowly rotate both ankles together in the same direction, 10 times clockwise and 10 times anti-clockwise. Make sure that your knees are straight while your feet are rotating.
  • Now, slowly rotate the feet together but in opposite directions. Do 10 rotations in each direction. This can be tricky in the beginning, but be patient and keep trying.

The benefits of practising Padanguli Naman, Goolf Naman and Goolf Chakra are:

  • Bending the toes and ankles prevents joint pain by increasing mobility in these joints. 
  • These asanas also help in toning the muscles of the calves as they get stretched during the ankle bending and rotation.
  • These asanas increase the strength of the ankles, thus preventing pain while standing for hours.
  • These asanas can also relieve foot pain and fatigue that can occur as a result of ill-fitting footwear or high heels.

Read more: Joint Stiffness: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

There are certain things which should be kept in mind while doing yoga poses for feet, ankles and toes:

  • Rotate the ankles at a speed that does not cause discomfort to you. 
  • People with arthritis should do these asanas after consulting with their doctors.
Dr. Abhishek Bunker

Dr. Abhishek Bunker

General Physician
2 Years of Experience

Dr. Vishwas Pahuja

Dr. Vishwas Pahuja

General Physician
1 Years of Experience

Dr. Nilofer Patel

Dr. Nilofer Patel

General Physician
3 Years of Experience

Dr. Prachi Jain

Dr. Prachi Jain

General Physician
2 Years of Experience

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