Yoga for plantar fasciitis

Roughly 1 in 10 of us suffer from plantar fasciitis in our life, with the majority of people experiencing it between the ages of 40 -60. As it's a pretty common issue, we thought it would be helpful so share some ways to help reduce the discomfort that it causes.

Experiencing the discomfort can be triggered by people starting to run more and associated tightness. Stretching the calves can be one stretch to help alleviate the discomfort (see below).

What is planta fasciitis?

Inflammation of the thick band of tissue on the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia) is the reason for the sharp pain on your heal at the base of your arch - the condition is know as plantar fasciitis.

The pain is often increased when you put weight on the foot.

Stretches focusing on the calf and foot as well as stretching out the fascia can help relieve the pain and discomfort experienced.

Standing salute

  • Stand tall, with big toes touching
  • Inhale raise both arms to the side, bring hands together above the head
  • Engage quads, calves as you round through the feet
  • Gaze forward
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths
  • Exhale lower arms to the side
  • Repeat 3-5 times
  • A second option is to come to the tip toes as you reach upwards and back to the heals on the exhale with arms by your side
Standing pose - heals raised (can also raise arms)

Chair pose

  • Stand feet hips width apart
  • Inhale raise both hands upwards, bend the knees until quads are towards parallel to the floor
  • Hold - 3-5 breaths
  • Exhale - come to standing, shake feet / legs out
  • Repeat 3-5 times
Chair pose - raise heels

High Lunge (step forward)

  • Stand tall, toes touching
  • Inhale - raise arms towards ceiling, palms facing each other
  • Exhale - step forward with right foot. Right knee above ankle (in line with hip to give wide stance and better balance). Left leg straight, left heel of the mat
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths
  • Inhale - step right foot back to left
  • Repeat on left side - step forward with left foot.
High Lunge

Downward dog pose

  • Start in table top pose (hands underneath shoulders, knees under hips)
  • Inhale - press through the hands, raise hips and straighten legs downward dog pose
  • Hold
  • Inhale - raise heels off the floor
  • Exhale - lower heals to the floor
  • Alternative is to peddle the feet out (raise one heel and then the other, moving with breath)
Downward dog - both heels at one time or peddle feet alternately

Table top pose to forward fold

  • Start in table top pose
  • Inhale - press through the hands, raise hips and straighten legs downward dog pose
  • Exhale - walk hands back to toes, trying to keep legs straight
  • Inhale - come half way up looking forward, keeping legs straight
  • Exhale - forward fold and walk hands out to downward dog
  • Repeat - 3-5 times
Forward fold pose after Table Top to Downward dog progression

Sitting on your heels

  • Lower the bottom onto your heels with toes tugged onto the follow (you can also place a cushion onto your calves if it feels uncomfortable)
  • Sit back and relax (well kind off) - this will stretch the arches of the feet as well as the quads
  • Hold for as long as feels comfortable
Sit on heels, toes tucked

Squatting pose

  • Standing feet shoulders width apart, pointing 45 degrees to the side
  • Exhale - bend knees, lowering hips towards the floor
  • Heels can either stay on the floor or raise offering deep stretch through the length of the foot
  • Bring palms together in front of you, elbows can push against the inside of the knee
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths
  • Shake legs and feet out
  • Repeat 3-5 times
Squatting pose

Reclined pigeon

  • Opens up the glutes, hips and lengthens the spine
  • Inhale - Rest ankle onto opposite knee
  • Exhale - draw knee to chest, holding heel and toes of raised leg
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths
  • Repeat on both sides
Pigeon pose

Legs against the wall

  • Lay close to a wall
  • Place feet on the wall with legs straight
  • Palms face up, away from the body
  • Hold for as long as you want / can
Legs against the wall

Some points to remember

  1. Avoid any poses that cause pain, make the pain worse
  2. Be gentle on yourself
  3. Should the pain remain (or increase) over an extended period arrange an appointment with a healthcare professional