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Stretch of the Week: Hero’s Pose in Yoga

by Athletico1 Comment

The third week of November brings us to a stretch called hero’s pose in yoga. We have visited this stretch before but today we will focus on the shin and front ankle. 

Lots of people have trouble with this position, it’s usually because the front of the ankle into the shin is very tight. Or sometimes it’s due to tight quads putting pressure on the knee joint making it uncomfortable. So if you have terrible knee problems, do not do this stretch. If it’s just uncomfortable to sit on the heels, you will need a yoga block or folded blanket to sit on. That will ease the knees. You may also need another blanket for the ankles, so grab two!

How to:

  1. Sit back on the heels. Then bring the heels to the outside of the hips as shown in the top photo, placing the sitz bones on the floor. If this is comfortable then keep the knees together and press the hands into the feet to press the tops of the feet into the floor. If you are not feeling much, you can lean back letting the knees come off the ground (keep them together!) feeling the stretch intensify in the shins and ankles. (Not shown).

This is not something most people are comfortable with so if coming to the heels is difficult then move on to number 2.

  1. Sit on a yoga block or folded blanket with the heels to the outsides of the hips. You should be feeling a stretch here in the ankles. If not then you can follow the directions from above on leaning back slightly.

If the stretch is too intense by just sitting like this or there’s pain in the ankle, roll the edge of a blanket and place it between the front of the ankle and the floor. As shown in the bottom photo.

  1. And that’s it! Stay here for a full minute or more. Or maybe less if it’s really uncomfortable. You may get a quad stretch as well so bonus!

Hero's Pose in Yoga

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1 Comment

  1. EM

    Putting a rolled blanket under the feet like in the photo will put the ankles into *deeper* extension and make the posture more difficult. The ankle would need to stretch further to be flat on the floor, not less. It may be more productive to put the blanket under the shins to decrease the amount of extension the ankle needs to have to be flat on the floor — that seems like a more appropriate modification for tight ankles. In hero’s pose, the rotation of the leg should be such that the line from the big toe to the ankle is where the foot is making contact with the floor.

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