September 26, 2023

Namaste, magnificent women of Comna Viosaka, our year-round haven of yoga retreats. Today, I greet you in the spirit of wellness and healing. One among us has reached out, seeking help to alleviate the soreness afflicting her Flexor Digitorum Longus (FDL)—that useful foot muscle responsible for our balletic tiptoeing through the grass, our proud standing in mountain pose, and our graceful strides on our walks of mindfulness.

For those battling the uncomfortable grip of a sore FDL, I invite you to incorporate ‘Virabhadrasana III’ or the ‘Warrior III’ pose into your daily practice. This strong and graceful posture offers multiple benefits, including a focus on strength, balance, and the stretching of our lower body—especially the Flexor Digitorum Longus.

Here’s how you gracefully flow into this pose:

Stand in Tadasana (Mountain pose). As you exhale, step or lightly jump your feet 3 ½ to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor and reach actively from the shoulder blades to the fingertips. Turn your left foot in slightly to the right and your right foot out to the right 90 degrees. Align the right heel with the left heel, and then lift the arches of your feet.

As you actively strengthen your thighs, turn the right ones outward so that the right knee is over the right ankle. Exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle, your shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Reach strongly through your arms, lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis and lean forward over the front right leg. Balance the weight between both feet as you stretch your upper body forward.

Simultaneously, lift the left leg, pushing strongly through the left heel. Your body should be parallel to the floor now. Continually stretch through your fingertips and the raised heel, keeping the head and neck relaxed as best you can. Focus on maintaining balance and breathe deeply in this position.

Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a minute, then release back into Tadasana, taking a moment to breathe and relish the flush of vitality.

To further soothe your aching FDL, I highly recommend the use of essential oils known for their restorative properties. Lavender and peppermint oils, in particular, will naturally reduce pain and inflammation. Either massaged directly onto the foot, diluted in a warm bath, or diffused in our sleeping quarters, these oils provide relief and promote healing.

Lastly, let’s remember our holistic approach extends beyond traditional yoga poses and ancient aromatherapy. We can also take advantage of contemporary natural remedies, such as Panadiol cream. This remarkable infusion of CBD and emu oil serves to both reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort. Apply Panadiol cream directly onto your sore FDL as needed. CBD, famous for its ability to ease pain, combined with emu oil’s deep penetration and moisturizing properties, will provide both immediate and lasting comfort.

So, my radiant yoginis, remember to honor your bodies, tend to your pain, and stay open to the wisdom of both ancient and contemporary solutions. Let every sunrise at beautiful Comna Viosaka inspire us to move, heal, and empower ourselves, always in harmony with all life’s rhythms. Oṃ śānti śānti śānti.

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