Many people are plagued with imbalances in structural strength. Particularly important points are the feet and ankles. Even the very active are typically vulnerable on this front. Running, for example, strengthens the large muscles of the legs but often leaves the knees and ankles exposed to injury.
Our shoes and relatively sedentary lifestyle combine to leave us weak at the very base of our foundation. This imbalance spreads; cascading through the body into lower back pain, sciatic issues, etc.
So, problem identified… solution time.
As with any of the standing meditation and condition practices it’s important to keep a deep even breath as your hold this posture. A rhythmic breath will help you relax into the effort. Place close keeping the feet centered under the knees. Don’t let you ankles roll in or to the outside. Sit down with the tailbone too so that the knees are well bent.
Do a quick self evaluation of your foundation.
Benefits we don’t see may as well not exist. We will test and measure to see how this practice is strengthening us.
The first time you hold the pose, time how long until you lose balance (ankle rolling or heel dropping).
Work the exercise for 30 days, five minutes a day.
At the end of this time measure again how long you can hold the pose without losing balance. Any increase of time is an increase of stability in the foundation joints of your ankle and feet.
As a final note, if you can handle it, practice barefoot. It’s not just the ankle that matters for our balance and stability but also the many joints and muscles of the foot. Practicing barefoot will greatly enhance the effect of this standing meditation on those joints.
If you have friend or family suffering from weak ankles feel free to share this page with them.
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-Becca, A happy new member of our Qigong and Tai Chi community