In this video we work on increasing the mobility of the ankles, focusing on the tissue on the bottom of the foot as well as around the calves.
Equipment: tennis, lacrosse ball. A tennis ball is softer while a lacrosse ball is more intense.
1) Myofascial Release
Rolling Out The Foot
In a standing position, lean your weight over into your left foot and stand the right foot onto the ball. Roll around and explore until you find an area that’s intense. Once you do, begin to press your weight down into the ball. Spend about a minute on each side, or pause the video if you’d like to roll out for longer.
Rolling Out The Calves
Sitting on your heels, place a tightly rolled up yoga mat between your calves and hamstrings. Start leaning slightly forward and using your hands for support. Once you can gauge the intensity, begin to sit upright. You can lean forward to ease up on the intensity, or sit completely upright for more. You can also move side to side in order to find any areas of increased tension. As the intensity fades, lean forward and move the roll down an inch to start working on a new area of the calves.
2) Dynamic Stretch
Begin by facing a wall with your right foot about two or three inches away away from the wall. Your stance should be a bit staggered so the left foot is slightly back from the right. Place your hands on the wall and bend into the right knee, lunging it forward. The goal of this stretch it to tap the knee to the wall without lifting the heel. Do this about five times before changing to the left foot forward. Then repeat again on both sides.
3) Static Stretching
In a kneeling position with your heels and big toes as close together as possible, curl all of your toes underneath you and sit your butt back onto your heels. Keeping your knees together and remaining upright with a stable spine, hold for a few minutes.
Return to standing and we’ll begin with the right leg. With the right foot, put the tops of your toes on the floor, letting your left knee softly bend. Be sure to apply pressure evenly across the whole top of the foot. To increase the intensity, you can lean back slightly. After a few minutes here, untuck your toes and shift your weight and start working on your left foot.
In a slightly modified downward dog stretch where your feet are a few steps closer in, bend the left knee and shift the weight back towards the right heel. To change the stretch, play with gently bending your right knee. Hold whatever version you’d like for a few minutes, and feel free to adjust during that time. To switch, straighten your left leg back to the modified down dog and anchor the weight into that heel.
Work hard, find softness. MacKenzie Miller will leave you feeling as if you have flirted with gravity and laughed with the divine. Students are instantaneously transported away from the hustle of their daily lives, allowing their mat to be an arena reserved for cultivating inner peace.
MacKenzie is a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor. Her teaching combines thorough understanding of alignment and anatomy with the joy of balance and movement. She engages deeply with her students and her classes are thoughtfully sequenced, creating a safe space to have fun and explore, work hard yet find softness.
No aspect of the modern practice experience is left untouched. All will leave energized, grinning and humming at the end.