Yoga Modifications for Tight Ankles


There are a couple of men in my yoga class who cannot sit in Vajrasana because their feet will not extend. What to do?


Lisa Powers
Ananda Village, California

Remember on the very first day of Yoga Teacher Training (easily forgotten with all the information given in the next 27 days!) when we worked with all of the props for Vajrasana? A low rolled blanket under the ankles, with the extra unrolled portion of the blanket under the shins help the foot maintain a more flexed position.

Doug Andrews
Ananda Yoga of the Redwoods, Boulder Creek, California

I think the simplest approach is to use small bolsters between the front of the ankle and the floor and larger props between the heel and buttock. I keep some kneeling benches available for those students who cannot enter Vajrasana/Virasana without support: the benches are sometimes easier to manipulate in a class setting if Vajrasana comes up more than once.

Genevieve Ryder
Mashpee, Massachusetts

Sitting in Vajrasana have them roll a small towel and place it under to support the ankle. Eventually, they may be able to extend the feet, but it can take a long time. Doing foot warm-ups (plantar and dorsiflexion, inversion and eversion, and ankle circles) will be helpful.

My ankle extension was/is limited to an old fracture and after 3 — 4 years, it began to open up. It still needs warm-ups at times.

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