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Easy Yoga Poses to Stretch Out Stiff Ankles

1. Vajrasana: Lightening Bolt Pose

To start of the sequence, kneel with your butt sitting on your heels. Make sure your heels don’t sickle out to the side too much—you can tie your ankles together with a strap, belt or scarf (whatever you have handy) but not so tight that it hurts.

Make sure your torso is upright as straight as possible, your tailbone is tucked in and your ribs aren’t jutting out. While you’re in this pose, you can do some arm poses for your shoulders, like holding your arms above your head with your palms facing the ceiling and your fingers interlaced (upper arms should be in line with your ears), Gomokasana arms (Head of the Cow) in which one elbow points to the ground and the other points to the ceiling, and hands are clasped behind your neck or back and then you switch arms, or Eagle Pose arms.

You can intermittently lean forward and turn your toes under your butt, kneeling for a while like this. Switch back and forth as many times as you like.

2. Virasana: Hero Pose

For a deeper variation of Lightening Bolt Pose (you can even start here if you’re so inclined), kneel with feet apart and sit your tailbone onto the ground. If you’re really stiff or new to yoga, or if this feels uncomfortable in your knees, use a support under your buttocks (you can sit on a block, folded blanket or whatever you have).

3. Malasana: Garland of Flowers Pose

Shift right into this pose by lifting your knees off the ground and placing your heels on the floor so you’re in a squat position. The goal of this pose is to reach your arms around the back of your heels and clasp them there.It’s called Garland Pose because your arms are intertwined around your legs like a garland of flowers.

But chances are, if you’re ankles, knees or hips are stiff, you won’t be able to balance with your heels directly on the floor so you can hold onto something in front of you, with your arms extended out front.

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