|[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 228 ]
Yoga Foot and Ankle Kriyas
Being able to sit comfortably for long periods is an ultimate necessity in yoga. The average person today has a great deal of stiffness in the ankles and the feet, making the vajra asana and other heel-sitting practices difficult and uncomfortable.
The following kriyas are of immense benefit in combating this problem. Even after only a couple weeks of regular practice, you will begin to note a significant change in their ability to sit comfortably in vajra asana for longer periods.
Eka Janu Vajra Kriya
Eka means "one," and janu refers to the "knee." This is the "single knee lift in vajra asana."
Note: Try to remain upright, with the back straight throughout the movement.
- Begin sitting in vajra asana with the back straight and the head and neck in line with the spine.
- Relax your hands on your upper thighs or hold them in namaskara mudra at the level of the chest.
- While performing deep sukha pranayama, lift one knee as high as possible on the inhalation. This will put great pressure upon the top of the foot.
- Exhale and slowly lower it back to the floor.
- Complete one round by repeating the above sequence with the other knee.
- Perform 3 or 4 rounds.
Dwi Janu Vajra Kriya
Dwi means "two." This is the "double knee lift, in vajra asana."
Note: Try to stay as upright as possible during this movement, although some slight backward leaning may be necessary to generate leverage in order to raise the knees high.
- Perform this kriya with the very same action as the eka janu version above, except this time lift both knees together on the inhalation, and then slowly lower them on the exhalation.
- Again, a fair amount of pressure will be felt upon the tops of the feet.
NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.
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