Always Be Dancing Expressive Arts

Yoga and Flamenco for Every(body)

Strengthening Ankles

Leave a comment

Some children have very weak ankles and they often wobble on their heels or miss class due to a sprained ankle. This can become quite frequent, so I decided to address this issue head on.

This weeks classes started with a silent, drawing meditation. The only “rule” was no talking. We sat and did some simple inhales and exhales with our noses, bringing us into a more focused and relaxed state of mind. I then read to the kids, while they colored (they could draw anything they wanted); they just had to listen and draw. The room was pleasantly silent and calm. I read from the book “Three Golden Oranges and Other Spanish Folktales” by R.S. Boggs and M.G. Davis.To the first group of students, I read “The Three Golden Oranges” and to the second “Toñino and The Fairies”. Both stories are set in Granada and along the roads, leading into and out of the the hills of the Sierra Nevadas. These stories are full of senorita’s, dashing young men, brides/husbands to be found, money to squandered and good deeds to be done. And you definitely need strong ankles to go up and down those long winding country roads.

Next came the yoga sequence designed to build strong ankles:

1. Start in Mountain Pose. Feel your legs growing down into the earth, feel the strength flowing through your ankles. Scrunch your toes up, like you are trying to dig a hole with your toes; then lift your toes up and spread your toes as wide as you can. Repeat several times. Press into the ground and inhale as you lift your arms up and over head. Exhale. Feel your upper body reaching up as your lower body plants itself firmly into the earth. Inhale as you look up your hands and let your head fall back-Upward Salute/Up-Mountain Pose.

DSC04052

Urdhva Hastasana/Upward Salute

Next, righting your head, exhale into Chair Pose . Utkatasana/Chair Pose/Lightning Bolt Pose Utkatasana/Chair Pose/Lightning Bolt Pose. From chair, with the legs still bent and feet firmly planted into the ground, bend forward so your hands are on the floor. Knees can be bent enough to facilitate this, but heels should remain on the floor-Standing Child’s Pose.

Slowly rise back up to stand, making sure you feel the strength of your legs, ankles and feet the while time you lift up.

Repeat the sequence, but this time, instead of rising up after the standing child’s pose, step back with your left foot and come into, what I call, Right Angle Pose. Place your hands on either side of the front foot, curl the toes of the back foot under and then press the back leg up, straight, into High Lunge.

Hands to hips. Inhale, hands up; exhale, turn back foot and place it down on the floor-Warrior I. Inhale and bend forward, placing you elbow/lower arm of your right arm on your right knee. First look at your front foot and feel it grounded, buried deep into the ground. Look at your back foot and feel the same energy. Then pressing into your right arm, so your chest lifts up. Raise your left arm up and turn your chest to the left-Modified Triangle Pose.

Breathing in, stand up, jump feet together as you breath out.

Repeat the sequence on the opposite side -after the standing child’s pose, step back with your right foot and come into, what I call, Right Angle Pose. Place your hands on either side of the front foot, curl the toes of the back foot under and then press the back leg up, straight, into High Lunge.

Hands to hips. Inhale, hands up; exhale, turn back foot and place it down on the floor-Warrior I. Inhale and bend forward, placing you elbow/lower arm of your right arm on your right knee. First look at your front foot and feel it grounded, buried deep into the ground. Look at your back foot and feel the same energy. Then pressing into your left arm, so your chest lifts up. Raise your right  arm up, first in front of you and then reach it to the ceiling and turn your chest to the right-Modified Triangle Pose.

Breathing in, stand up, jump feet together as you breath out.

Standing Challenge series:

1. Tree Pose      IMG_3902     

2. Reach down and grab foot, Dancer’s Pose  DSC05980

3. Release foot, bend forward, walk hands forward, lift one leg into 3 Legged-DogMom-Kid.3LeggedDogs

4. Standing, straightening legs, Airplane ava_airplane.jpg

Rest in Child’s Pose; repeat whole sequence on other side. Balasana/Chilb's Pose

Rest in Child’s Pose

Reverse Plank series:

1. Hands facing towards your body, press up DSC06102 DSC06101

2. Hands facing back, away from your body, press up

3. Choose which hand position you like better and do this one more time. This time, press up: lift right leg and hold; then lift left leg and hold, then press up one more time

Lay on your backs and take Savasana.

DSC05953

¡Olé Namaste!

Advertisements

Author: alwaysbedancing

Always Be Dancing Accessible Yoga and Flamenco for Every(body). I am committed to inclusion. I bring inclusion to school communities, fitness professionals, Pt's/OT's, yoga studios and every(body) in between through classes, workshops, professional development seminars, public speaking, and guest blogging. I can create a program specific to your needs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s