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Yoga for Flat Feet

nwfotobug2010-07-04 13:46:15 +0000 #1
Hi everyone,

I have a few questions about finding comfort with collapsed arches aka flat feet. Ultimately you would think that you would have more stability in this pose, but I do not. I have no problem with Tree poses or my warriors. But I struggle in other standing balances such as Warrior 3, and half moon.

Mainly my concern, is that I'm starting to receive alot of pain in my right knee, which feels like an alignment issue. It feels like my Iliotibial band is to tight, and causing pain to my knee. I stretch it alot with Pigeon, and a foam roller, also standing side stretch. but I find that none of this is helping my situation.

I cycle three times a week, but I do yoga 4 to 5 times a week. I love Hero's pose, and though it doesnt hurt in the pose, as soon as I try to get out of the pose, its very painful, and stiff, and I struggle to get up. I'm pretty positive this all has to do with my feet. It just makes sense, of course the dr says, just take ibuprofen and practice the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and elevation). Which doesnt seem to do a whole lot.

Any suggestions?


InnerAthlete2010-07-04 13:55:48 +0000 #2
As you well know from your relationship with your yoga teacher, it is best to ask this of her/him. This person can see you and make the requisite corrections to your asana practice, teach you how to work with light and breath, and provide you with the necessary changes in nutrition and lifestyle to manifest your well being.

Vira III and Ardha Chandrasana are poses where weight-bearing is done on only one limb while the torso is 90º to the support. Therefore it is completely expected to have additional physiological challenge with these poses when contrasted to Vira I/II. So this is quite common and may not have anything at all to do with flat feet.

Also common, especially in athletes (cyclist) is tension in the IT Band. Keep in mind that the IT Band is a stabilizer and therefore it is best not to over stretch it.

An IT Band issue would more directly correlate to the feet if you were a runner. However it is also possible your cycling mechanics are not helpful. Have you considered a Fit Kit?

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana may work three of the eight hip actions but may also place strain on the knee and sacroliac joints. So that may not be the best "remedy' when facing a therapeutic issue.

Cycling obviously works flexion and extension. A mindful asana practice for a cyclist would place emphasis on other hip movements (toward balance) like adduction, abduction, internal rotation, external rotation, and extension of the femur away from the hip joint. I have no idea what your particular Yoga practice involves therefore "4 to 5 times per week" does not help me.

In Virasana the medial condyles of the knees must be equidistant from the floor or in a plane parallel to it. I mention this because Virasana is one of two poses (the other being Padmasana) where students can "come into the pose" but do so without integrity and place the knees at risk both in the moment and over time. Since I cannot see your pose I cannot tell you if that is the case and therefore cannot determine the integrity of the pose for the knee joints. So your discomfort in coming out of the pose (which I presume is in the knee) may be alignment oriented.

Flat feet are addressed through actions in standing poses (again a task for your teacher) and through manual stimulation of the soles in virasana.
David2010-07-04 14:35:24 +0000 #3
Hi Gordon

Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerAthlete



In Virasana the medial condyles of the knees must be equidistant from the floor or in a plane parallel to it

Can you please elaborate on this? Thank you.
Techne2010-07-04 14:24:30 +0000 #4
With fallen arches, you might also ask your instructor or doctor (or a physical therapist) about stretches and exercises specifically for your feet. As a cyclist wearing softer shoes I (a person with very, very high arches) developed plantar faciitis, which hurt in and of itself but also decreased my options for shifting weight and balance in standing poses.
Willem2010-07-04 15:21:41 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by nwfotobug



I have a few questions about finding comfort with collapsed arches aka flat feet. .... .... .... I love Hero's pose, and though it doesnt hurt in the pose, as soon as I try to get out of the pose, its very painful, and stiff, and I struggle to get up. I'm pretty positive this all has to do with my feet. .....

Well, assuming that your self-assessment is correct, then you need to strengthen the arches of your feet. This can be done by going on tiptoes in mountain pose (tadasana / samasthiti). Do reps. And actually hero pose (virasana) is very good for this too. Perhaps your pain will go down if you massage the arches of your feet with your thumbs while in the pose. And check out this article by Inner Athlete's teacher as well: www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers/698
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 14:47:09 +0000 #6
Quote:

Hi Gordon

Quote:

Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerAthlete

In Virasana the medial condyles of the knees must be equidistant from the floor or in a plane parallel to it

Can you please elaborate on this? Thank you.

Yes David. In fact I left out a critical element. and that is this:

The lateral condyles MUST also be in that same line or plane.

Do you need further elaboration?

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