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Yoga for Plantar Fasciitis | 10 Poses to Ease Heel Pain

If you're feeling heel pain, you've come to the right place. Yoga for plantar fasciitis is one of the best ways to deal with this type of pain. 

Here at Yoga Strong, we have ten poses our team likes to use when we feel discomfort in our heel. However, before that, let's discuss the guidelines of using yoga to help cure your plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a medical condition that commonly results in heel pain. Plantar fasciitis itself involves inflammation of the thick tissue band that runs through the bottom of your feet. It’s what connects the heel bone to your toes, and problems can arise with a stabbing pain going through your foot, usually first thing in the morning. 

Yoga and Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common problem for runners. The tissue can be overstretched or overused to the point of pain.


However, many people find relief with stretches that specifically target the feet. Before going with more invasive measures, yoga may be all you need to relax the tension, which is just one of the many reasons why it’s advantageous to stretch every day.

What Not to Do During Yoga for Heel Pain

While doing yoga for heel pain can be effective, doing it incorrectly can make things worse. Here are some things you shouldn't do when practicing these yoga poses: 

  • Stand Crooked: When practicing yoga, your heel bone should be perfectly vertical. Pay attention to how you stand to see if it’s crooked at all.
  • Over-supinating: This is a problem some people have with running or walking. It involves the heel failing to roll in far enough during the stride or rolling outward. If you do this, your foot no longer absorbs the shock of each step correctly, which can aggravate the plantar fascia. It can also lead to a midfoot sprain.
  • Not Warming Up Beforehand: You shouldn't start your favorite yoga poses for heel pain right away. Instead, you should do some warmup poses before yoga. This drastically reduces the chance of being injured during your sessions. 

10 Yoga Poses For Your Heel Pain

Here are our favorite ten yoga poses we use when dealing with heal pain. These poses range from beginner to advanced so no matter what level you're at, you can eliminate heel pain today!

10. Upward Salute

With your big toes touching and a small amount of space between your heels, raise your arms over your head shoulder-distance apart. Next, draw your arms to line up with your ears and rotate your biceps back. 


If you can manage to keep your arms straight, reach up and touch your palms. Take several breaths, and then release. 

9. Runner’s Stretch Pressing into Wall

Lean into a nearby wall with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Move into a deep squat position while continuing to lean into the wall, resetting your forearms on your quads. 


Get your whole back onto the wall and the back of your head if you’re able to. Lift up all of your toes so that the weight moves back into the heels. 

8. Thunderbolt Pose

While kneeling on a soft surface, cross yourbit toes so that your feet support the rest of your body. Sit back with your feet relaxed and place your hands in front of you on your knees. 


Straighten your spine and pull  your shoulders back. Engage your neck as you gaze forward. Breathe in and out slowly while keeping your back straight. 

7. Chair Pose

Standing up, raise your arms over your head so that your biceps are just in front of your ears. Keep your arms parallel as you bend your knees, making your thighs parallel with the floor. 


Keep your shoulder blades against your back as you direct your tailbone down toward the floor, keeping your lower back longer.

6. Thread the Needle Pose

While on your hands and knees, put your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. As you exhale, slide the right arm underneath the left arm with the palm facing up. Allow your right shoulder to come down to the floor. Your right ear and cheek should be on the floor. 


You do not want to put weight onto your head in this pose. Instead, let your upper back broaden as you soften and relax your lower back. 

5. Seated Forward Bend

Move your arms straight out to the sides and over your head, reaching for the ceiling. When you exhale, come forward while hinging at the hips. 


On each inhale, lengthen your spine. On each exhale, deepen the amount you bend forward.

4. Runner’s Stretch

Perform the same steps as the runner’s stretch against a wall, except this time, attempt to do it on your own without the wall aiding you.

3. High Lunge

As you lunge one leg forward, move your arms over your head. Hold the position until you switch sides.

2. Bound Angle Pose

Starting in the staff pose, sit on your sitting bones instead of behind them. Bend your knees so that they fall open to the sides.


Draw the soles of your feet together while using your hands to open them. Press your shoulder blades against your upper back to lift your chest. Clasp your ankles so that you can lift up your torso. 

1. Tree Pose With a Yoga Block

With one foot on the yoga block, move the other leg to touch your knee. Your arms should be extended overhead as you balance on the block. 


Repeat these stretches until you notice the heel pain subsiding. If it persists, speak with your doctor immediately.


References:


Bar, Judi. “How Yoga Can Help Ease Heel Pain From Plantar Fasciitis.” Cleveland Clinic, 16 Dec. 2020. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/yoga-for-heel-pain-plantar-fasciitis-video/


Mayo Clinic Staff. “Plantar fasciitis.” Mayo Clinic, 20 Jan. 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354846