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Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column: Foot Cramps During Yoga

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Updated September 23, 2012

Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column: Foot Cramps During Yoga

Hero Pose – Virasana

© Barry Stone
Question: Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column: Foot Cramps During Yoga
Dear Aunt Yoga,

I am writing to you because my foot often cramps up during yoga class, especially in poses like pigeon and hero where the foot is tucked under. Is there anything I can do to prevent these cramps? They are painful and a little embarrassing.

Answer: Dear Footie,

You are definitely not alone in suffering from foot cramps in yoga class. And those cramps are killer! Even Aunt Yoga herself has been seen to writhe in pain, especially, as you mention, in poses where the top of the foot rests on the floor. People with flat feet, (that's me!), seem particularly affected. You can try to prevent the cramps by drinking more water, since dehydration is known to cause muscles cramps. Eating potassium-rich foods, like bananas, can also help, since low electrolyte levels can also cause cramps. If you do cramp up, the easiest thing to do is to turn your toes under to stretch out the sole of the foot and massage your arch until it feels better. Don't worry about coming out of the pose or feel embarrassed. It's just a blip on the radar.

Namaste,

Aunt Yoga

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