Pain is a familiar experience for everyone. Most pain is caused by inflammation, and most inflammation comes from tissue damage. Tissue damage may occur from different types of exposures. We feel tired at the end of day's work, why? because we sit for too long in too wrong a posture! no wonder our legs, hips and lower back are aching by evening. Leg and knee pain can make any brave soul feel lifeless and once idleness sets in you could be gaining weight before you know it. To overcome this, some simple yoga exercises/ asanas which if done regularly can help us do away with lower body stiffness and improving health in general.

TOE STRETCHES: Sit on the floor, stretch your legs forward and keep your hands on the floor slightly behind your back. Now stretch your toes away from your body and then pull them towards your body. Do this 8-10 times.

ANKLE STRETCHES: Keeping the legs stretched taut, move your foot at the ankle. Try and stretch it as far forward as possible and then as far back as possible. Repeat this 8-10 times.

ANKLE ROTATIONS: Stretch your legs, raise your right leg a few inches off the floor and rotate your foot in clockwise direction, making a circle with your toes. Repeat this 4-5 times. Then rotate it in the anticlockwise direction. Do the same for the left leg.

THIGH STRETCHES: Stretch your legs forward and bend them at the knees. Then spread them outwards and join the soles of your feet. Now press your knees downwards gently with your hands. Repeat this 4-5 times.

LEG BENDS: Keep your legs straight but not stretched. Raise both your legs slowly, bending them at the knees and return them to the floor with a little force. Make sure that your heels stay grounded. Repeat this 8-10 times.

BUTTERFLY ASANA: Stretch your legs forward. Bend them at the knees and spread them to join the soles of your feet. Interlock your hands and hold your feet at the toes. Now raise and lower your knees in quick succession, to stimulate the fluttering of a butterfly. Repeat this 15-20 times. This exercise helps to remove stiffness from leg joints.

Besides stiffness, to do away with cramps in your legs we need to remember :

  • Dehydration is one of the major causes of strains in ankles, calves and hamstrings.
  • Keep drinking water at regular intervals.
  • Potassium or calcium deficiency causes weakness in the joints and bones.
  • Have milk and banana as breakfast staples.
  • Don't go for long walks or spend hours on the treadmill just because you see someone doing it or read about it in a magazine.
  • Exercise to your capacity.
  • Don't spend long hours sitting or standing. There has to be a change of posture at regular intervals to avoid muscle stiffness.
  • Do a proper warm-up exercise before doing any leg exercises.
  • Wear shoes that are comfortable and appropriate for the exercise.
  • Massage your feet regularly.

All these asanas remove pain and weakness in the thighs, calves and ankles. They are extremely beneficial for the knees and heels as well. They help counter sciatica pain and boost blood circulation in the legs, thus reduce chances of strains or muscle pulls. They also help strengthen the leg muscles for having healthy and beautiful legs.


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