Video transcription

Hi, my name is Kristin Cooper. I'm director of The Wilmington Yoga Center, and today I would like to share with you a couple of suggestions to help you stretch the plantar fascia. For this, you'll need a yoga mat, a tennis ball and some space. So, the plantar fascia is this dense connective tissue that runs across the sole of the feet from the front of the heel to the base of the toes, and this is really important in yoga that we work to stretch this and our standing posture. So, I'll share a couple of ways that we can do that. To start with, we're going to work out toes. So, a lot of times we kind of forget about our toes when we are standing. We're going to lift the toes and lower the toes and lift and lower. You can also try to lift the toes and even spread the toes as wide apart as you can from pinkie to big toe and then relower creating space. If you've ever had a pedicure before, the little pieces that they put between your toes, you can imagine that you have kind of an invisible pedicure set there to help you open between the toes and then you also can practice working what we call the four corners of the feet. So, you can think about the knuckle of the pinkie toe, the knuckle of the big toe and the inner and outer heel as the four corners. You can also think of a large X on the floor that your foot is on and you want to hit each corner of the X. So, if I was in Tadasana, or Mountain Pose, and I wanted to work the four corners I would play with shifting my weight forward and back and then kind of inner and outer and then again find those four corners. I'm going to spread the toes. Imagine that invisible X and make sure that my weight feels distributed on all four points, and then I relower the toes. So, when you're working those four corners, it's helping to strengthen the arch, and the last thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to take a tennis ball and bring it right under the ball of my foot. You want to make sure that you feel stable on your supporting leg, that you feel balanced here and then as you feel ready, you're just going to kind of slowly take your weight forward to your level of comfort across the ball and this is going to make you work the muscles, those small muscles throughout the toes, the base of the foot. It's a little harder than it looks and now you can release. And those are just a couple of simple tips to help you to stretch the plantar fascia. Enjoy. Namaste.