Your Body On Yoga

Yoga has gained a lot of popularity worldwide because of what the majority says. Most people would say, including me that “I feel so calm and relax after the class”. For those who haven’t tried it and heard this comment, it would sound so intriguing right? Yes, it has been proved that yoga can help you relax but what does it do to your body? What goes on inside the human system? How does yoga affect the human body?

effects of yoga on the body

How Does Yoga Affect The Human Body?

Effects of Yoga on the Skeletal System:

effects of yoga on the musculoskeletal systemThe skeletal system is the hard framework that is mainly composed of the bones, associated cartilages, and joints. It plays an important role in protecting the organs inside our bodies. Imagine the human body without the skeletal system? We’d for sure look like jellyfish.

Recent studies had shown that some yoga poses had improved the health of joints by stimulating the release of synovial fluids. Synovial fluid is responsible for reducing friction between articular cartilages. It helps joints flow smoothly during movements. The synovial fluid is significant for delivering oxygen and nutrients to hyaline cartilages that don’t have any sort of oxygen. Regular yoga practice can make practitioners move around more smoothly and easily.

Even though Yoga is a weight-bearing exercise like running, weight lifting, walking, etc. It is less risky than other exercises because it creates tension on the bones and helps them lengthen and align.

According to a study conducted by California State University in Los Angeles, they said that yoga practice increased bone density in the vertebrae. Yoga’s ability to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol (known as the “stress” hormone) which in result may help retain calcium in the bones.

It is a fact that as we age, our bones start to weaken or even deteriorate and a consistent yoga practice can help improve our strength and coordination.

These are some poses that can help strengthen the bones:yoga retreats in Greece 2019

  • Vrksasana (Tree)
  • Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
  • Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
  • Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
  • Table Top and alternate lifting and extending opposite arms and legs

Effects of Yoga on the Musculoskeletal System:

Yoga helps strengthen the joints and support the muscles. The isometric poses of yoga train the smaller muscles surrounding our joints to endure longer holds for balance or coordination. Over time, with regular stretching, the muscles become more flexible. Flexible muscles are far less susceptible to damage in the future and put less strain on the body’s joints. Less stress on the joints means less damage to the joints which reduces the chance of developing osteoarthritis. Also, because the muscles are warmed and stretched during a yoga practice, yoga improves recovery of muscle tissues.

Muscles function properly because of the increased blood flow.

effects of yoga on the musculoskeletal system

Yoga improves flexibility and strengthens postural muscles. Poor posture can cause a lot of injuries in the future. It can result in discomfort, pain, or degenerative disease like arthritis of the spine.

As you practice yoga, you begin to notice where you hold tension. It might be in your tongue, your eyes, or the muscles of your face and neck. If you simply tune in, you may be able to release some tension in the tongue and eyes. With bigger muscles like the quadriceps, trapezius, and buttocks, it may take years of practice to learn how to relax them.

Effects of Yoga on the Nervous System:

Alternating sympathetic and parasympathetic activation. Regular practice of yoga, slowly invites the nervous system to shift out of patterns of chronic stress back into the body’s natural rhythm of activation from sympathetic to parasympathetic.

Yoga stimulates the vagus nerve. This is the 10th cranial nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve of the body. It connects to vital organs like the heart, lungs, liver, stomach, colon, spleen and other parts of the abdomen.

Practicing yoga also increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is commonly known as the “happy” neurotransmitter, serotonin is mainly found in the brain, intestines and blood platelets.

Yoga influences the rate of thyroid hormone secretion. Yoga asana, especially Sarvangasana (shoulder stand), by increasing the protein bound iodine and rehabilitating the thyroid gland it may be effective to treat underproduction of thyroid hormones. Various stretching, twisting and compressing yoga asana provide nourishment to the cells, improve blood circulation, massage the thyroid gland and stimulate it to release thyroid hormones.

effects of yoga on the thyroid

Yoga decreases cortisol hormone. According to a study conducted by Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and the Yoga Research Society, a 50-minute yoga session performed for seven days- which included postures such as Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand), Salabhasana (Locust Pose), Vrksasana (Tree Pose) and Halasana (Plow Pose) – significantly reduced cortisol levels.

Practicing yoga also stimulates growth hormones. The body’s diminishing supply of growth hormone is responsible for the frailty that comes with aging. If you want to increase the level of growth hormone being secreted, consider asanas that are of moderate aerobic exercise. Studies have proved that moderate forms of exercise can increase basal levels of growth hormone in humans.

Stepping on your mat and flowing through class also ups oxytocin, the “LOVE” hormone. It plays a role in sexual reproduction, sexual arousal and is released by the hypothalamus when you have an orgasm.

Yoga also balances Dopamine “the reward” hormone. A clinical research from the J. F. K. Institute in Denmark published in Cognitive Brain Research found that Yoga Nidra– a guided meditation that produces deep relaxation- increases level of dopamine in the brain by 65 % on average.

Practicing yoga also balances melatonin “Rest-Sleep-Heal”. Researchers at Rutgers University discovered that melatonin levels for meditation practitioners were boosted by an average of 98%. Incorporating meditation into your life can be your much needed physiological re-balancing tool.

Performing pranayama or simply breathing deeply activates the prefrontal cortex and that results in an increase in cognitive function.

Yoga also increases endorphin levels. Endorphins are the “feel-good” neurotransmitters. Endorphins are the body’s internal painkillers. Endorphins are known to cause euphoria, produce a feeling of pleasure, reduce stress, increase relaxation and are highly effective in pain modulation and management.

effects of yoga on hormones

Spending time on your yoga mat also improves GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitter secretion. GABA is a known major inhibitor neurotransmitter in the brain. This chemical can cause some common problems like: anxiety, nervousness, phobias, restlessness, and insomnia. In 2010, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine found that a 12-week yoga intervention was linked with greater improvement in mood and anxiety and increased levels of GABA than a metabolically matched walking exercise.

Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath, and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter is calming and restorative; it lowers breathing and heart rates, decreases blood pressure and increases blood flow to the intestines and reproductive organs.

Effects of Yoga on the Cardiovascular System:

Deep breathing ignites the sympathetic nervous system, causing the heartbeat to slow and reduces blood pressure. Relaxation exercises found in yoga help increase blood flow throughout the body which also improves oxygen circulation in the body.

Many yoga flows can also increase your heart rate (like Ashtanga Yoga) may lower the risk of heart attack and relieve symptoms of depression. Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise—all reflections of improved aerobic conditioning. One study found that subjects who were taught only pranayama could do more exercise with less oxygen.

Effects of Yoga in the Respiratory System:

effects of yoga on the respiratory systemDeep breathing in yoga can increase lung capacity while reducing breaths per minute. It improves the supply of oxygen to the lungs.

With ‘Pranayama’ breathing exercise in yoga, you can increase your intake of oxygen up to five times. The more oxygen-rich blood that flows to the brain, heart, lungs and digestive organs will enable these organs to work better and further bolster one’s health. Moreover, deep breathing can help you to improve the flow of your lymph system thereby helping the body to get rid of toxins. And it is found to strengthen the diaphragm.

Even the use of chanting sounds such as chanting “Om” can even help soothe the sinuses.

Effects of Yoga in the Digestive System:

Yoga encourages the adrenal glands to produce less cortisol which can reduce cravings for fatty foods. Yoga lowers blood sugar and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and boosts HDL (“good”) cholesterol. This effect can reduce the risk of diabetic complications like heart attack, kidney failure and/or blindness.

Having a regular yoga practice also reduces stress, which can alleviate ulcers, IBS, and constipation, and other digestive problems. Yoga may also be a good method to help the movement of waste to move smoothly out of the body. However, there are some conditions for which using asana for exercise may not a good idea, such as severe cases of diarrhea or constipation, or for someone with an acute bout of pain related to their digestive disorders. In such cases, we recommended turning to other yoga tools, including stress management and relaxation.

Twisting poses can serve as an internal massage of the digestive tract. The massage effect ensures more blood and oxygen and strengthens the muscles of organs.

Asanas that affects the gastrointestinal tract:

  • Parivritta Trikonasa
  • Marichyasana
  • Setu Bandha Sarvagasana
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana
  • Utkatasana
  • Paschimottanasana
  • Balasana
  • Uttanasana
  • Apanasana

Static poses that strengthen and stretch the abdominal area help tone the abdominal muscles that house and support the majority of the organs of digestion and may assist in the movement of material through the system. Dynamic poses that fold, stretch and twist the abdominal area can improve blood and lymph circulation, and create a squeeze and release effect on your organs.

Yoga and its many practices have numerous benefits for the human: body, mind, and soul! What’s keeping you from getting on the mat? And if you already practice, please share in the comments how yoga has influenced your life!

 

Sources:

https://asmy.org.au/yoga/yoga-skeletal-system/

https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/good-bone

https://www.fireengineering.com/articles/fire_life/articles/2014/april/the-skeletal-system-the-yoga-way.html

https://www.gaia.com/article/3-ways-yoga-improves-your-joint-system-and-skeletal-structure

http://yogaforhealthyaging.blogspot.com/2016/03/how-yoga-helps-your-digestive-system.html

http://bahiranga.com/yoga-and-the-digestive-system/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/body-on-yoga_n_4109595.html

http://donthateyourguts.com/benefits-yoga-part-4-nervous-system-benefits/

https://dutchsmilingyogi.com/effects-yoga-on-respiratory-system/

http://www.organicauthority.com/this-is-how-and-why-a-yoga-practice-strengthens-your-nervous-system-and-brings-balance-back-to-your-body/

http://www.theyogamandala.com.sg/how-yoga-helps-in-the-respiratory-system/

https://www.mokshamantra.com/yoga-impact-on-hormonal-health-and-neurotransmitters/

https://medium.com/@RandoxHealth/what-happens-inside-your-body-during-yoga-practice-6deee1019c4

 

Rosalee Oxford

Rosalee Oxford is a passionate seeker of happiness and adventures. She just finished her 200 hr YTT with Ambuja Yoga as well as her 20 hr AYRx with Jen Healy. She’s on an ongoing quest to discover all the joys life has to offer and is excited to share her love for yoga with others. With this desire, when she’s not practicing yoga she’s either swimming, scuba diving, pole dancing, or chasing her brown goldendoodle around the house. Her classes are a combination of Hatha and Vinyasa flow that accommodates all skill levels."

Latest posts by Rosalee Oxford (see all)

    Spiced Pumpkin Chia Pudding

    It’s fall, so that obviously means pumpkin in everything! I love fall and I find fall foods deeply comforting and grounding. I can eat pumpkin and squash soups for days, but sometimes I crave a sweet treat and since I can’t do ice cream I have to get a little creative. Chia pudding is ridiculously easy to make and it’s pretty healthy too (although I suppose that is determined by what goodies you add). Here is my fall take on chia pudding: Spiced Pumpkin Chia Pudding

    Why should you eat pumpkin chia pudding? Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamins, including Vitamin A, C, E, and K. It is also high in iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese and dietary fiber. Boom! That’s a lot of goodness packed into one veg. Chia seeds are an excellent source of healthy fat and dietary fiber and provide calcium, phosphorus and manganese. Coconut milk, if you’re buying the pre-packaged beverage kind, like Silk Brand, it is fortified with other vitamins and minerals. If you’re going with the natural stuff, perhaps you’re hardcore and make it yourself or are blessed enough to have fresh coconuts at your disposal, your coconut milk won’t be fortified with vitamins and minerals, but it still remains a healthy source of fat. Remember that not all fats are bad for you. Our brains need fat to function.

    vegan dessert

    Ingredients for Spiced Pumpkin Chia Pudding

    Serves 2.

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 Tablespoons chia seeds
    • 3/4 cup coconut milk beverage (not the canned stuff… it’s way too high in fat)
    • 1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup (or 1 teaspoon maple syrup and one Medjool date pitted and minced)
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice blend or make your own (ground cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves)

    Instructions

    1. In a medium bowl, combine your chia seeds and coconut milk. Allow the chia seeds to soak 5-10 minutes.
    2. With an immersion blender, give them a quick spin.
    3. Add your pumpkin, maple syrup (and date if you’re using one), vanilla and spices. Spin again.
    4. If your impatient, you can eat it now, but it’s best after it has had a chance to set in the fridge for 30+ minutes.

    **If you’re kapha, cut your coconut milk with water or extra pumpkin.

    Quick and Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice

    Hello yogis and fellow veggie lovers! Here is one of my new favorite weeknight vegetarian recipes. It’s super easy and takes less than thirty minutes to make… maybe even less than 20 if you don’t dilly dally and goof off while you’re making dinner. Hope you love this super easy vegetarian cauliflower fried rice as much as I do!

    Did you know that one cup of cauliflower provides over 70% of your daily vitamin C requirement? Yep, it’s true. Cauliflower is also a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate and Potassium. It even has a little bit of protein (2 grams in one cup). Who knew?

     

    vegetarian cauliflower fried rice recipe

    Quick and Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice

    Serves 2.

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 head of cauliflower
    • 1 large carrot, chopped up into smallish pieces
    • 1 big handful of snow peas, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 1 shallot, diced
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 2 eggs, whisked
    • 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon tamari (or regular soy sauce)
    • white pepper, to taste
    • sea salt, to taste
    • chili pepper flakes, to taste
    • toasted sesame seeds to garnish
    • diced green onions to garnish
    • cilantro sprigs

    Instructions

    1. easy cauliflower fried rice recipePrep your cauliflower. Cut the heads of the cauliflower off and feed the heads and top of the stem through the grater on your food processor. You might also be able to use a blender on pulse or hand grate using a cheese grater (but who has time for that). (1-2 minutes)
    2. In a 10-12 inch saute pan, add about 2 teaspoons of your oil (not two tablespoons!) and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallot and carrots to your pan. Saute until the shallots are transparent and the carrots have softened just a bit. (~ 5 minutes)
    3. Add the remaining sesame oil, cauliflower rice, and snow peas to the pan. Turn the heat up to medium-high and saute another 7-9 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked, but not mushy. (7-9 minutes)
    4. Create a well in the center of your pan by pushing all of the cauliflower rice to the side and add your whisk eggs to the well. Allow your eggs to cook a bit and then fold them into the rice. (2 minutes)
    5. Add your tamari and adjust to taste. You may also like to add sea salt, white pepper, or chili pepper flakes at this point too.
    6. Plate your fried rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
    7. Enjoy your cauliflower fried rice!

    Love cauliflower? Craving something to warm you up on a cool fall or winter evening? Check out my Hazelnut and Cauliflower Soup. It’s also delicious and surprisingly healthy.

    Five Fantastic Outdoor Yoga Classes in Bend, Oregon You Should Try This Summer!

    Summer is finally here! Which means it’s time for outdoor yoga classes. This is the first summer that I have seen tons of outdoor yoga classes in Bend… seriously, you can practice yoga outside every day of the week. How do you even choose which ones to attend?

    free yoga class Bend Oregon at Deschutes Brewery

    1. Deschutes Brewery Yoga on the Lawn with Wild Thing Yoga; FREE

    Every Sunday 10:30-11: 30 am (rain or shine) NEW TIME: 9:30 – 10:30 am

    This is my favorite class of the outdoor yoga classes in Bend. Every Sunday, tons of Bend yogis gather for a yoga session on the lawn. Helen, owner of Wild Thing Yoga, teaches a super fun, truly all levels vinyasa yoga class. There are plenty of opportunities to play on your hands or simply stretch it out. The lawn is also surrounded by a wildflower-covered hill (perfect for those Instagram pics!). After class, you can hang out on the hill with a can of Deschutes beer and chillout with Bend’s awesome yoga community. It’s pretty rad. You can usually catch me here on a Sunday morning– usually practicing, but occasionally teaching.

    Location: 901 SW Simpson Ave, Bend, OR 97702 (this is the address to the Brewery) — Yoga class is on the lawn behind the brewery off of Shevlin-Hixon Road.

    outdoor yoga classes in Bend Oregon

    2. Lara House Bed & Breakfast with Wild Thing Yoga‘s instructors; $5-$10

    Every day of the week except Wednesdays from 9:30-10: 30 am

    Lara House is a super cute B&B owned by a mother-daughter team. It was built in the early 1900s and still has that original charm. Lara House has a giant lawn surrounded by huge, gorgeous trees and rhododendrons… it’s also right across from Drake Park and the Deschutes River. It’s a new favorite of Bend downtown locals and tourists alike. After your outdoor yoga class, you can head over to Drake Park or walk back downtown and grab a coffee at Crows Feet Commons or the Looney Bean. On July 6th there will be a FREE yoga class at 5:30 pm taught by myself and Helen for First Friday. Happy hour to follow.

    Location: 640 NW Congress St, Bend, OR 97703

    silent disco yoga classes Bend Oregon

    3. Silent Disco Outdoor Yoga at Millers Landing; $20-$25

    Sundays 9:00-10:30 am

    Leanna Schweitzer and Wren and Wild have paired up to offer a fun Sunday morning flow at Millers Landing. Noise canceling headphones + groovy jams and sunshine by the river. It’s a great opportunity to try Silent Disco yoga in a beautiful low key setting. I loved the DJ’s playlist and Leanne’s class was awesome, as always. After class, go grab brunch at Jackson’s Corner… get their Portobello breakfast and a bloody mary. YUM!

    Location: 80 NW Riverside Blvd, Bend, OR 97701

    outdoor yoga classes Bend Oregon

    4. Loge Entrada; $5-$10

    Fridays at 5:30 pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00-10:00am

    If you remember the old school Entrada Lodge and it’s old school vibe you will love that the new owners are keeping that old school nostalgic vibe, but making it super cool! They’ve added fire pits, string lights, daily yoga, bike rentals and more. Loge Entrada offers yoga every day of the week for guests and locals alike. Their outdoor yoga class is on their side lawn near the stage. Grab a yoga class and then hang out for a beer, movie, or live music. Occasionally there are even beginner friendly mountain bike rides after the Wednesday evening classes… contact Loge Entrada or Wild Thing Yoga for the details.

    Location: 19221 SW Century Dr, Bend, OR 97702

    outdoor yoga classes bend, oregon

    5. Yoga On The Pond at Bend Brewing Company; FREE

    Sundays 10-11am (2 x month June-August)

    Another great outdoor yoga class offered by the Deschutes River. Bend Brewing Company, or BBC as the locals call it, opens right after class, so you can grab a beer or a bite and chill by the river and enjoy your post-yoga glow. Class is taught by Kayla Heuton. Kayla teaches an all-levels vinyasa style class… well-behaved dogs and children are welcome!

    Location: 1019 NW Brooks St, Bend, OR 97701

     

    Outdoor Yoga Events

    Athleta | Free Yoga With An Athleta Ambassador | July 7, 2018

    Athleta offers free yoga classes… sometimes in the store and sometimes outdoors. Here is a link to their July 7th class.

    Bend Beer Yoga | Saving Grace Fundraiser | July 8, 2018

    Bend Beer Yoga offers outdoor classes in Bend at local breweries, Crows Feet Commons, local guesthouses and hostels. Check out their website for upcoming events… this is a great opportunity to convince your non-yogi friends to give yoga a shot!

    Yoga + Beer Bend, Oregon Retreat | August 15-19, 2018

    Mikki Trowbridge leads a yoga and beer retreat here in Bend. She gets a great turn out and I can only imagine it’s a ton of fun.

    End of Summer FREE Yoga at Les Schwab Amphitheater | August 30, 2018

    Helen Cloots of Wild Thing Yoga will be packing the lawn at Les Schwab. Don’t miss out!

    Yoga Poses for Better Foot Health

    The feet tend to take a lot of abuse and they almost never get a day off as most people are always on their feet whether they are working or playing. While keeping active is always a good thing, it can leave you with achy and sore feet. But, if you are a fan of yoga, you should know that there are some poses that can be very useful in keeping your feet healthy so that they can withstand the almost constant abuse.

    yoga poses for better foot health tree pose

    Some of the best yoga poses for better foot health include the following five.

    #1 Mountain Pose-Tadasana

    If you are going to do any standing yoga pose, mountain pose is always going to be your foundation. However, it is also a helpful pose for your feet as it helps improve balance, focus and your general posture. Healthy posture is vital for foot health as it reduces irritation and inflammation of the foot muscles and joints. Mountain pose helps you focus on your posture and stance which in turn ensures you are more aware of your standing habits to minimize the pressure on certain parts of the foot which tend to be the most problematic such as the heels.

    How to do it:

    * Start by standing with your feet parallel and about hip-width apart.

    * Spread your toes apart and then distribute your weight evenly across both feet.

    * Make sure that you do not lean forward or backward as you apply even pressure on all four corners of each foot.

    * Keep your legs straight but not locked and make sure that your hips are aligned with the ankles.

    * Breathe in deeply and then stretch the spine towards the ceiling with the arms at your side.

    * Hold the pose for about 3 minutes and try to focus on both maintaining the correct position and your steady breath.

    #2 Tree Pose-Vrksasana

    Tree pose is a classic yoga pose that will help to improve your balance and the distribution of weight across your feet. This pose will entail transferring weight from one foot to the other which in the long run will improve your balance. Also, the weight transfer will help to stretch the micro muscles around the shin and foot.

    How to do it:

    * Start by coming into mountain pose.

    * Slowly shift your body weight to the left foot, bend your right knee and then use your right hand to bring the sole of your right foot to your inner thigh, calf, or ankle.

    * While in tree pose, keep your pelvis centered and parallel to the floor and your back straight.

    * Bring both your hands in front and together to form anjali mudra (prayer hands). Lift your hands above your head to come into the full expression of the pose.

    * Hold the position for at least 10 seconds and then release before repeating for the other foot.

    #3 Warrior 1 Pose-Virabhadrasana 1

    Warrior 1 or Virabhadrasana 1 in Sanskrit is also a classic yoga pose that can come with numerous health benefits for the feet. This pose is all about stretching your feet and strengthening the foot muscles but it can also help to reduce heel pain. And it can also help lift flat arches as it targets specific arch muscles to help lift the feet.

    How to do it:

    * Start in mountain pose.

    * Take a long step forward so that your feet are 3-4 feet apart and hips width distance.

    * Make sure your body and front foot face forward and turn the back foot 45 degrees to provide some balance.

    * Bend your front leg until the front knee is directly above the ankle to form a 90-degree angle.

    * Press your back heel and pinky toe edge of your foot into the ground

    * Lift your arms straight up. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before switching to the other foot.

    #4 Thunderbolt Pose- Vajrasana

    When you want to release tension on your feet Thunderbolt Pose is a great option. And this is because it entails sitting on your heels which helps to press into a natural pressure point in the arch.

    How to do it:

    * Start by kneeling on the floor.

    * Bring your knees to touch and press the tops of your feet flat against the floor. Your heels should be as close to one another as possible.

    * Now lower the weight of your body onto your heels and then sit with a straight posture and your hands resting on your thighs.

    * Hold this posture for about one minute before releasing.

    * Finish by stretching your legs out in front of you. Give your legs a little shake or find movement before repeating the routine again.

     

    #5 Toes Pose

    Toes Pose is a popular Yin Yoga pose that targets the plantar fascia ligament, one of the most problematic ligaments in the foot as it is where the pain that comes from plantar fasciitis originates. This pose aims to stretch, strengthen and elongate the fascia, and in doing all this it helps to keep the soles of the feet in great shape.

    How to do it:

    * Start by sitting in a kneeling position.

    * Next, lift up on the toes (your toes are curled under) with the knees still anchored in front of you and still on the ground.

    * Gently let your weight settle back onto your heels and hold this pose for a minute or two.

    * Make sure that you breathe calmly and deeply through this pose, and also try to imagine the fascia becoming more flexible and elongated.

    Bottom Line

    Your feet have to carry a lot of weight every day and so keeping them in good shape is vital not only for their health but also for your overall well-being. And while there are many ways of doing this, yoga poses like the five above are a great starting point.

     

    By Patrick Greer