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RLS Week 1: Locust Peak Pose
Time Image Pose Description
yoga pose Ankle BendingPart I Toe Wiggles: Sit with legs extended. Both ankles together. Place both hands behind pelvis. Lean back. Look at feet. Wiggle toes back and forth. Part II Ankle Bending: Move ankles back and forth. Part III Ankle Rotations: Rotate right foot clockwise several times & then anticlockwise. Repeat with left foot.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/KbxJfOzLUek
yoga pose Ankle RotationSit with legs extended. Circle left foot one way, then the other. Circle right foot one way, then the other.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/pUkhD42tT7s
yoga pose Toe BendingSit with legs extended. Hands beside hips. Lean back a little using arms to support back. Keep spine straight. Move toes of both feet slowly back and forth. Hold each position for a few seconds.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/HzQU4lQUnwA
yoga pose Ankle CrankSit with legs extended. Place left foot on right thigh. Interlock fingers of right hand around left foot and left hand around bottom of right shin. Rotate ankle clockwise (5 rounds), and anticlockwise (5 rounds). Return to base position. Repeat with right foot on left thigh.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/HzQU4lQUnwA
yoga pose Knee BendingSit in Base position (legs extended). Bend right knee. Interlock figures around right thigh. Bring right knee close to chest. Extend right leg without touching foot on the ground. Repeat. Switch legs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/HzQU4lQUnwA
yoga pose Knee CrankSit in Base position (legs extended). Bend right knee. Clasp right thigh with fingers interlocked. Raise right foot. Imagine there is a blackboard in front of you and that your big toe is a piece of chalk. Draw a big circle clockwise for several rounds (make sure big toe goes above level of forehead). Repeat anti-clockwise. Release. Repeat with left leg.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ThxGPtWUQlY
yoga pose Start Of Sequence
yoga pose Knee To ChestLie on back with knees bent. Arms at sides. Palms down. Bend right knee to chest. Wrap hands around knee. Pull knee into abdomen. Release. Repeat on other side.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ORy3oFGFCLw
yoga pose Eye Of The NeedleLie on back with knees bent. Soles of feet on floor. Hug left knee into chest. Cross left ankle over body and rest it on right thigh. Let left knee relax away from torso. Lift right foot off floor and thread left hand through legs so hands meet on back side of right thigh. (or clasp hands on front side of right shin). Using hands, draw right thigh toward chest (cause left hip to open). Keep both feet flexed. Relax left knee to open hips. Repeat on other side.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/UM02T4O-Iho
yoga pose Sacral CirclesLie on back with legs and arms extended. Draw both knees to chest. Clasp hands around knees. Keep back flat on mat. Release shoulder blades down toward waist. Draw tailbone and sacrum down toward mat. Lengthen spine. Clock-wise circles with knees.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/TWG_79QF4_E
yoga pose Knees To HeadLie on back. Extend arms beside body, palms facing down. Bend knees. Bring knees to chest. Hold legs slightly below knees. Press knees into upper chest. Raise head, shoulders and upper chest to knees. Hold.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/D34o4QINYMk
yoga pose Supine Leg RaiseLie on back. Bend knees. Engage core. Slowly raise one leg at a time (soles looking at ceiling). Arms by sides.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/HHNo_AQT50o
yoga pose Raised LegsLie on back. Bend knees. Engage core. Raise both legs until soles are looking at the ceiling. Rest arms behind head with palms facing up. Close eyes. To release, bend knees to chest and bring feet to mat.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/HHNo_AQT50o
yoga pose Reclined Hand To Big Toe A PrepLie on back. Press left thigh down and stretch right leg out. Keeping left thigh firmly planted, bend right leg and grasp big toe with first two fingers and thumb. Straighten leg. Hold. Repeat on left leg.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/GzToob_gGUk?rel=0
yoga pose Rock And Roll SquatsSquat. Interlock finger and clasp them around shins (just below knees). Rock body backwards (don't hit head on mat). Try come into squat on feet when rocking forward.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ep4pXJyL6qQ
yoga pose BridgeLie supine. Bend knees. Set feet on floor. Heels close to sitting bones. Press inner feet and arms into floor. Push tailbone up. Lift buttocks. Clasp hands below pelvis.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/EU2JS2Pm2EY?rel=0
yoga pose Bridge Ankle On KneeLie supine. Bend knees. Set feet on floor. Heels close to sitting bones. Press inner feet and arms into floor. Push tailbone up. Lift buttocks. Raise right leg and place ankle on left knee. Lower. Repeat on other side.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/EU2JS2Pm2EY?rel=0
yoga pose Start Of Sequence
yoga pose CowStart on hands and knees. Knees below hips and wrists. Centre head in a neutral position. Eyes gaze at floor.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/kqnua4rHVVA
yoga pose Cow Leg RaiseStart on hands and knees. Knees set directly below hips and wrists. Centre head in a neutral position. Eyes looking at floor. Raise left leg until parallel with floor. Repeat on right leg. Keep alternating.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VuqVVXW_N50?rel=0
yoga pose Cow Arm Leg RaisesStart on hands and knees. Knees set directly below hips and wrists. Centre head in a neutral position. Eyes looking at floor. Raise right arm and left leg. Hold. Raise left leg arm and right leg.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/sQ7xdUBKuS0
yoga pose CrocodileRelax on stomach. Arms folded on floor above head. Widen legs. Roll feet so heels point in. Squeeze buttocks. Press pelvis into floor. Rest forehead on arms.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/MZynS2i3n28?rel=0
yoga pose Half BowLie on belly. Legs together. Bring chin to floor. Slide right arm along floor with palm facing down. Bend right knee. Reach left hand back to hold onto the right heel or ankle (opposite hand to foot). Kick right foot into arm to lift right leg. Raise head and chest. Keep neck in line with the spine. Gaze straight ahead. Press down into right arm, or raise right arm (keep parallel to floor). Hold. To release: exhale and lower leg, arm, head, chest to floor. Repeat on other side.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/i85RRMmaMRw
yoga pose LocustLie flat on stomach. Feet together. Forehead on floor. Place arms by sides. Palms up. Stretch chin slightly forward. Rest chin on floor. Soften front of body. Lift chest, legs, arms off floor. Extend fingertips towards toes. Look straight ahead.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/582eV71P1sQ?rel=0
yoga pose Start Of Sequence
yoga pose Standing Quad StretchStand on left foot. Hold right shin by bending leg behind you. Tuck pelvis in and pull shin toward glutes (knee points to mat). Don't pull knee backward or sideways. Hold. Switch sides.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/CZBKSOtyssM
yoga pose TreeStart in Mountain. Weight on left foot. Inner foot firm. Bend right knee. Clasp right ankle. Press right foot sole against inner thigh. Resist with left leg. Hands in Anjali Mudra. Gaze at a fixed point. Repeat on other side.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/wdln9qWYloU?rel=0
yoga pose ChairStart in Mountain. Raise arms perpendicular to the floor. Keep arms parallel, palms facing inward. Bend knees. Firm shoulder blades against the back.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ySafTekJ3Ls
yoga pose Chair ElevatedFrom Mountain. Lower hips to a squat. Keep knees together. Abs tight. Raise arms to side of head. Lift high up on toes. Remain balanced. Lower 2 more inches into the squat. Hold for 3 breaths. For more burn squat until bottom almost touches heels.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kp7XJkG9ubc
yoga pose Goddess Anjali MudraStand tall. Arms by sides. Step feet out wide. Turn toes out slightly. Bend knees and lower hips into a squat. Thighs parallel to floor, but not into a deep squat. Tuck tailbone. Press hips forwards. Draw thighs back. Knees in line with toes. Soften shoulders. Gaze softly. Hands in Anjali Mudra (palms together) over heart.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/wgXefCprLm0
yoga pose Goddess TwistStand tall. Arms by sides. Step feet out wide. Turn toes out slightly. Bend knees and lower hips into a squat. Thighs parallel to floor, but not into a deep squat. Tuck tailbone. Press hips forwards. Draw thighs back. Knees in line with toes. Soften shoulders. Gaze softly. Hands on thighs. Twist upper body to right. Gaze behind shoulder. Hold. Switch.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/wgXefCprLm0
yoga pose SquatStand upright with back straight. Feet shoulder width apart. Feet at 45 degrees. Bend knees. Squat as if you are about to sit on an invisible chair.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/IXpJEqssze8
yoga pose Squat On TiptoesStand upright with back straight. Feet close together (or touching). Squat on toes.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/f7eYtDIxb_0
yoga pose Squat JumpsStand in mountain pose. Widen stance and splay feet open a bit. Squat down with feet shoulder width apart. Instead of slowly rising as with a traditional squat, jump into the air with core engaged and land in a squat position. Repeat.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/7jLdLqA4Hrw
yoga pose Squat Leg ExtendedCome into squat and extend left leg out to side. Hold. Walk hands on mat over to other side to stretch right leg. Hold.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/B1eF-Wl2AlU
yoga pose Side Lunge Anjali MudraFrom standing wide-leg forward bend come up onto fingertips and lengthen spine (flat back). Bend right knee to a side lunge. Stay, or turn right toes out (knee and toes point in same direction). Turn left leg out so toes face up with heel on floor. Sink into a deeper side lunge. Lower pelvis. Keep sole of right foot on floor, or lift heel, coming up onto ball of right foot. Lift hands off floor, bringing torso more upright and challenging your balance. Rest hands at heart in Anjali Mudra (prayer position), or reach them out to side like you’re shooting a bow.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/R47u4ZssPZc
yoga pose Crescent MoonKneel with knees hip width apart. Keep back straight. Step forward with right foot. Foot extends slightly past knee. To increase stretch in hip, bend more on right knee. Raise both arms and bring palms together. Look forward. Focus attention on one point. Hold. Release.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/2pCcmxQSETc
yoga pose CatStart in neutral position. Wrists under shoulders. Arms shoulder width. Pull navel into small of back. Arch backwards. Tuck chin to chest. Move slowing back & forth. Modifications include: Cat pose with forehead to knee. Cat pose with leg raised. Cat pose with arm raised. Cat pose with rib cage circles. Cat pose with feet to the side.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VuqVVXW_N50?rel=0
yoga pose ChildSit on heels. Walk hands forward until forehead touches floor. Arms alongside legs. Alternatives include: Child with head on bolster. Child with bolster between legs. Child pose with arms extended. Child with hands on back. Child with cheek on mat. Child with leg raised and arms extended.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/qYvYsFrTI0U
yoga pose Start Of Sequence
yoga pose Crocodile Side TurnLie on stomach. Bend elbows. Right wrist under left elbow. Left wrist under right elbow. Bend right leg to same side without lifting thighs. Line right heel with knee, shin parallel to left leg. Hold. Switch sides.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/EEQJvDj2zAM

Q&A

What are some of the triggers for RLS?

Being Still For Too Long – Sitting at your work desk, long car trips or flights, and sitting watching a movie can all set off symptoms. Try to take breaks from sitting every 15 to 20 minutes, so you’re not still for too long.

Alcohol – If you find that your RLS symptoms are worse when drinking alcohol, avoid it, especially close to bedtime.

Stress – RLS symptoms can increase when stressed. That’s why yoga is so highly recommended.

Medication – Your prescription or non-prescription drugs can make your RLS symptoms worse. Never stop taking a prescription drug without talking to your doctor first. If you notice that your symptoms get worse while on medication, talk to your doctor about switching drugs or dosages.

Lack Of Sleep – Sometimes RLS can get worse if you go to sleep later or get up earlier than usual. Stick to a regular bedtime routine.

Caffeine – Limit the amount of coffee, coca cola, or tea you drink particularly close to bedtime.

Chocolate – Limit the amount of chocolate you eat particularly close to bedtime.

Energy Drinks – Limit the amount of energy drinks you consume.

Smoking – If you find smoking makes your RLS symptoms worse, quit.

Hard Exercise – Moderate exercise may help ease your symptoms. But if you exercise too hard it may make your symptoms worse.

Temperature – Avoid extreme weather. Hot weather can make RLS worse for some people, while others might be affected by the cold. Get temporary relief from a hot bath, cold shower, ice packs, or heating pads.

Refined Sugar – Avoid processed foods and sweetened drinks.

Clothing – Avoid tight clothing, especially pyjamas.

How can I ease RLS? 

Lunch Time Is Park Time  – Take your lunch with you for a walk to the park. Walking in nature is ideal because it’s also one of the best ways to reduce anxiety and increase well-being. If, however, there’s no park, walk up and down the office stairs or around the block.

Circulation Boost – Every 20 or 30 minutes get up from your seat and do a standing yoga pose (e.g. mountain, warrior, lunge, squat) for a few minutes. Sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time will make your RLS worse. Even if you don’t have RLS, sitting for longer than 30 minutes is bad news for the back and your energy levels.

Daily Leg Stretch –  If you’re serious about easing your RLS symptoms, you absolutely must start and end your day by stretching your legs. And during the day remember to get up from your seat to stretch them.

Driving Long Distances –  If you’re a passenger in a car and you’re going for a long drive, have the courage to ask to pull over every 30 to 45 minutes. The driver won’t mind when they know about your RLS.

Leg Massage – Massage your own legs with massage oil, especially when your legs are cold. And get professional massages on a regular basis. Explain to the masseuse that you have RLS and they will give you a gentle massage.

Flying – Request an aisle seat when you fly. That will allow you to give your circulation a boost by getting up frequently.

Energy Slump – Its natural during the day to have energy slumps. When it happens fight the urge to drink caffeine (coffee or tea). That will make your RLS symptoms worse. Instead of the caffeine, get up from your chair and do 60 seconds of leg stretching.

Hot Bath Or Ice Packs – Hot baths relaxes body and soul -- and for some it soothes RLS symptoms. Chilling out with ice packs can also help.

No Bottoms Up – Stop drinking alcohol. If you’ve got RLS, alcohol will almost certainly cause RLS symptoms to worsen.

Take It Easy –  Moderate workouts can relieve RLS symptoms, but excessive exercise may cause them to worsen.

What are the two forms of RLS? 

Primary or idiopathic RLS - has no known cause and usually begins slowly, before approximately 40–45 years of age. It is often genetically linked and it is likely that another family member may also share the condition. Primary RLS can come and go, sometimes for months on end, and is often progressive, meaning it gets worse with age.

Secondary RLS - often has a sudden onset and is usually associated with another medical condition (e.g. iron deficiency anemia) or the use of certain drugs. Some medications, such as the antihistamines in cold and allergy remedies, make the symptoms worse for some people (so while Benadryl tends to make most people sleepy, for example, it may actually intensify the symptoms in a person with RLS, making it harder for them to sleep.)

When does RLS start?

RLS may start at any age, including childhood, and is a progressive disease for some, while the symptoms may remit in others. It affects men and women, young and old, although it is most commonly seen in women over the age of 40. Symptoms will gradually worsen over time in about two thirds of people with the condition and may be severe enough to be disabling.

Am I more likely to have RLS during pregnancy? 

About one in five pregnant women also develop the condition, usually in the third trimester and often continue to experience symptoms after childbirth. In children, RLS is often wrongly identified as 'growing pains'.

Can RLS be treated successfully? 

RLS is often unrecognised or misdiagnosed but there is a growing awareness of the condition amongst medical practitioners. In many people, the condition is not diagnosed until 10-20 years after symptoms begin. However, once correctly diagnosed, RLS can often be treated successfully.

Is there a cure for RLS? 

Doctors don't know the cause of RLS, and there’s no cure. But certain things can trigger symptoms. Knowing your triggers and how to avoid them will help.

What poses do you recommend for RLS?

Poses such as squats, warrior, tree and ankle rotations help ease the symptoms of RLS because they stretch the calves, thighs, hips and ankles.

Ankle Rotations On A Chair: Sit on the edge of a chair, resting both feet on the ground. Lift your right foot 3 inches off the ground and point your toes. Leading with your toes, form a circle toward your right, keeping the rest of your leg still. Do 10-15 circles, then switch direction and do 10-15 more circles. Repeat with your left foot.

Seated Calf Stretch: Do this stretch in bed to help relieve RLS cramping and discomfort that can keep you awake. Sitting in bed, straighten your right leg and flex your right foot toward you, clasping your hands around your toes. Pull your toes toward you and hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg. If you can’t reach your toes, wrap a towel around them and pull the ends toward you until you feel a stretch in your calves.

Is it okay to hold poses for long periods if I have RLS? 

Avoid staying too long in poses that load the legs such as lunge, warrior I, II, III, tree.

Should I stretch my leg muscles when I get up from sitting? 

Yes.

Is swimming good for RLS?

If your local swimming pool isn't very busy do Yoga in the pool. It's a great way to reduce the pain of RLS because the water takes the weight off your legs and feet.

Should I stretch in the evenings? 

The beneficial effects of stretching may only last a few hours, so stretch in the early evening to help relieve symptoms before bedtime.

Should I go to bed later? 

It's common in RLS to wake in the morning, only for your body wanting to go to sleep. You think you’ve slept but you’ve only had superficial sleep, not the deep sleep you need to achieve sleep refreshment. You wake up fatigued. RLS seems to affect the first part of the night for many people. A simple solution is to go to bed later and sleep a little longer in the morning.