Plantar fasciitis is a painful over-use injury caused by chronic irritation of the sole of the foot due to excessive strain. In this article, my primary emphasis is recommending a series of highly effective yoga poses (asanas) that deal directly with the most common causes of this condition. As a multi-pronged attack speeds recovery of this complex condition I will also advise on massage, dietary supplements and footwear.
STANDING ON YOUR OWN TWO FEET
It is no coincidence that the ancient yogis are often depicted standing in Tadasana. It is the hidden pose inside so many others and in coming to terms with its challenges one addresses the full dynamics of the opportunities yoga affords. When one achieves the balanced combination of the feet being grounded and at the same time the body lifting up, along with the correct alignment of the posture, most notably the pelvic and spinal alignment, one has the sense of feeling so light one could fly away whilst at the same time being connected to the earth.
I started teaching Iyengar Yoga to the Territorial Support Group (TSG) of the Metropolitan Police force in February 2004. I was invited there as a tentative experiment by Inspector Mark Bird, and although the lessons were regarded initially with some scepticism, they have been very well received.
The work of the TSG is extremely varied; they are deployed over the whole of London, engaged in dealing with large-scale public disorder, rapid entries into premises, crime operations, anti-terrorist activities and surveillance type work. They work long, irregular hours in sometimes stressful, perilous conditions. It was hoped that yoga would help reduce stress levels and increase flexibility.