Yoga Sequence for a Broken Leg, Ankle, Knee, or Foot (Video)

Lara Falberg
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Don’t ATV’s look like a blast? Oh, and they are! It’s so much fun racing over small hills and cutting straight through mud and wooded areas. But then there is the assumption that you know how to drive one . . . and I didn’t.
 

How I acquired my stylish leg cast

My decision to drive down a semi-steep hill, headed straight for a lake, and then making a quick u-turn to avoid the lake . . . is what led to a broken leg. The roll bar sliced right through my fibula and tibia. Luckily, my partner Jason, who landed from the crash like a cat, bolted to the house to create a makeshift splint and EMS was quick to arrive.
 
 

So I broke my leg . . . now what?

Fast forward to post-op and me sitting in my hospital bed, obsessively braiding my hair and feeling unreasonably positive thanks to morphine. I showed Jason the yoga sequence I created to do in the hospital bed to help keep me sane.
 

For those of you who are in the same scenario as I was, I want you to know you can still continue your yoga practice.

 

Did I mention I teach yoga full-time?

I started teaching again about twelve days after the accident. I was so damn nervous, but the students were supportive and patient. It was hard to stay positive, and I definitely cried everyday for about a month.
 
However, I knew it was temporary, and that was the mantra that got me through. It wasn’t an amputation and my injuries would heal. In the meantime, I needed a yoga sequence that would keep my spirits up.
 

The yoga sequence that kept me sane

I originally shared this video about two months after the accident. I was still on crutches and in a lot of pain, but this sequence reminded me that I’m strong, and all the other parts of my body were still strong too.
 
For those of you who are in the same scenario as I was, I want you to know you can still continue your yoga practice and hopefully this sequence will help you do so.
 

Watch this yoga sequence for a broken leg, ankle, knee, or foot:


 
 

A quick breakdown of the yoga sequence

Note, this is an intermediate sequence. If you’re going through the healing/rehab of an injury, please remember to be kind to yourself and know that you are doing your best. Remember to back off if something hurts, and skip any parts you feel you need to keep it safe.
 
You’ll need more patience than you thought yourself capable . . . and there is a pretty generous gift in practicing that.
 
 

Core work

  1. Start in Staff Pose
  2. Exhale, fold forward hinging from your hips into Seated Forward Fold
  3. Inhale, come back to seated, extend your arms toward the ceiling and raise your “good” leg up with your core muscles
  4. Exhale, and lower your spine towards the mat. Hover the shoulders just above the mat, keeping the arms and “good” leg lifted to really work your core. Hold for a slow count of five
  5. Inhale back to seated, keeping the “good” leg lifted
  6. Exhale, twist to the outside of the raised leg, and bring opposite arm towards the outside of the elevated leg
  7. Inhale back to center, and on an exhale, twist to the inside of your lifted leg
  8. Come back to center, grab the “good” leg with both hands, and slowly bring your shin toward your chin as comfortably as your hamstrings will allow
  9. Take this opportunity to roll the ankle and maneuver space into the joint
  10. From here, release the “good” leg, but keep it as high as possible and the spine strong and long. Hold it for a count of five (or longer if you’re feeling really motivated)

 
 

Twist and open

  • Gently release the healthy leg and place the foot to the outside of the opposite leg. Twist across the body to the outside of the good knee
  • After untwisting, come into Seated Pigeon by placing the foot of the bent “good” knee into the crook of the opposite arm’s elbow. Stay here a few breaths
  • Remain in Seated Pigeon and gently fold forward for a few breaths. Then come back to seated

 
Side note: Be mindful of the severity of pain coming from your injury site. Effort yes, but never force anything. A higher degree of gentleness is required from you right now
 

  • With this in mind, make your way gently to Compass Pose by bringing the bent “good” knee high onto the same side shoulder
  • Squeeze the knee into the shoulder and walk your hands back in line with your hips. Then, grab the foot with the opposite hand and begin to straighten the leg as much as your hamstrings will allow
  • Hold for a count of five

 
 

Option for an arm balance

  • Gently release the foot but keep the knee squeezing into the arm
  • Press both hands into the ground in line with hips, and lift both hips off the ground. If it will go, lift the straight injured leg off the ground, and come into Elephant Trunk Pose
  • Hold here, or maybe try Eight Angle Pose if it is part of your practice

 
Side note: If you’ve been fully resting while you heal, expect the core to require more patience as you begin to build back your strength in the abdominals
 

  • Bend the elbows as you would in Chaturanga and shift your bodyweight forward
  • Hold for a few breaths
  • Return to Staff Pose, and proceed to the other side

 
Side note: If the knee of the injured leg won’t bend, modify by skipping anything that feels even a little bit painful. Whatever you can do safely is all you need to focus on.
 
Injuries suck. But it’s important to find something that helps you remain positive through your healing process. For me that was yoga, and it absolutely kept me sane. And for those of you who are currently recovering, we wish you a speedy recovery. Thanks for reading!
 
This article and all included information is not intended as medical advice and does not treat, diagnose, or assume liability. Please consult your doctor for any health-related questions or concerns before practicing.
 
Are you on the road to recovery from a leg, ankle, knee, or foot injury? Have you found it hard to keep a yoga practice? Let us know if you have any questions or feedback about this yoga sequence in the comments below.
 

This article has been read 30K+ times. Bada bing!

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Lara Falberg

Lara has been teaching yoga since 2006, trained in Atlanta, now residing in Columbus Ohio. Her website is a yoga teacher resource offering verbals cues, mini sequences, class themes, and studio reviews. Her novel Yoga Train is about a group of people who travel through the yoga teacher training experience together. Follow her on Instagram (@iworkbarefoot), Facebook and Twitter.

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