So, what do we do when we’re feeling tender in our legs and feet? Do we simply take a painkiller, sit on the couch, and hope for some sweet release? We’re here to tell you that there are yoga poses that can help and also strengthen your tired legs and feet so the pain is less likely to reoccur.
Yoga can also ease some of the anxiety that you may feel as a result of your pain, possibly exacerbating it. We’re going to take you through yoga for sore legs so next time you’re feeling it, you can break into an asana instead.
Just remember that leg pain has many causes and to consult your doctor.
The Happy Baby Pose
While you may be feeling anything but happy, the Happy Baby Pose helps give you some release. This pose not only stretches your poor legs and feet but also slightly stretches your inner groin and relieves pain in the lower back by lengthening the spine. This is a great overall pose if you’re feeling pressure on the lower part of your body.
How to: Lie flat on your back and draw your knees in towards your chest. Take the pinky toes of both feet in your hands and bring your elbows to the inside of your knees. Bring your shoulders towards the ground and flex your feet as you slightly pull them apart.
Draw your knees towards your armpits, stacking your ankles above your knees. Be mindful that your lower back is flat on the ground and breathe into the pose. Stay in this position for up to one minute and enjoy the gentle stretch.
The Supported Butterfly Pose
This pose gently stretches your legs and feet while opening up the hips and thighs. Some additional benefits include stimulating your digestive system, releasing stress and anxiety, and relieving pain in your lower back. It’s truly a great all-around pose. It’s also known as the Reclined Bound Angle.
How to: It is helpful to face a wall as you move into this pose. Bring the soles of your feet together and carefully slide your feet downwards, towards your hips. Bring your knees wide and allow your body to sink into this position. Breathe deeply and enjoy this position for three to five minutes.
The Downward-Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog is perhaps the most widely known asana and one of the most popular. Downward dog is fantastic for stretching the legs as it focuses on lengthening the calves and back of the thighs.
How to: Begin in a crouching position. Bring your hands to the floor, pressing your palms firmly into the mat. Slowly straighten one leg at a time and press your heels into the ground. You can move your legs around by putting pressure on one foot and then the other, making sure you aren’t straining yourself or your poor legs! Stay in this position for one to two minutes.
The Eye-of-the-Needle Pose Against the Wall
This pose is great for a variety of reasons. It increases the range of motion in your lower body, improving circulation throughout your legs, hips, and back. This quickly helps provide some pain relief and reduces stiffness.
How to: To do this pose against the wall, lie down with your tailbone a few inches away from the wall. Bring both legs up, straight against the wall and place your left ankle above your right knee. Bend your right leg and slide your foot slowly down the wall. If your body is not resisting, bring your foot down lower until your ankle is parallel to your knee. You can stay here for three to five minutes and then slowly ease into switching sides.
The Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
This pose is great for those with poor circulation in their lower body as it can help drain lymphatic fluids from the legs which can cause swelling in your lower extremities. It helps to relax and soothe your tired legs and feet and bring back some balance. This asana also helps improve circulation in your upper body and encourages your digestive system to regulate so you really can’t lose here.
How to: Stay lying on the floor from your Eye of the Needle Pose, with your tailbone still positioned a few inches from the wall. Slowly walk your ankles up the wall and work up to straightening your legs. Rest your arms at your side, close your eyes, and breathe. You can stay here for anywhere from three to 10 minutes – but be warned, you may fall asleep. This position is very relaxing!
The Wide-Angle Bend on the Wall Pose
This pose stretches your stiff hamstrings, hips, and groin, bringing some relief to your lower body. It also strengthens the supporting muscles around your spine, benefits your back muscles, and improves your posture – plus, you can move right into this asana from your Legs-Up-the-Wall-Pose.
How to: Keep your legs straight from the Legs-Up-the-Wall pose. Slowly start widening your legs into a V-shape until you feel a comfortable stretch. Let your body naturally sink into this pose and enjoy the gentle stretch in the hips, groin, and inner thighs. Stay in this pose for three to five minutes and breathe deeply.
The Final Word on Yoga for Sore Legs
End your Yoga for Tired Legs and Feet session by entering into the Corpse Pose. This is a perfect way to fully let your body relax after you’ve thoroughly yet gently stretched your body. Next time you’ve returned home after a long day and want to just plop yourself in front of the TV, try some relaxing asanas to ease the tension in your legs and feet instead.