Squats and Tittibhasana (FireFly Pose)

Hi! I just finished Fiji’s Elevate challenge - really great - and now I have a goal of working towards Firefly.
However, first I need to work on squats. I find squatting with my heels on the floor really difficult… which then makes placing my hands on the floor behind them equally difficult. In order to have my feet on the floor my feet have to be pointed very far outwards and it doesn’t work very well. Is this normal, and is this because my hips aren’t flexible or because my ankles aren’t? Or just because of anatomy? (I have zero anatomical knowledge!) Any tips?

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Hello there! I’m glad you’re enjoying the challenge. Fiji teaches some pretty tough, creative classes, doesn’t she?

The answer to your question is that it could be tightness in the lower back, hips, ankles or all of the above. Where do you feel most restricted? Where do you feel the strongest stretch? Answers to those two questions will tell you a lot.

You may want to practice squatting frequently to loosen up your muscles. If it’s too uncomfortable to remain in, you can put a block or two under your bum or hold onto a couch to lift some weight from your feet.

Thanks for the reply :slightly_smiling_face:
Certainly my hips are tight, but the main area I find resistance is my ankles. I sprained my right ankle a few years ago and cannot bend my knee over my ankle very far (also a problem in Chair Pose). Will keep practicing!

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Great! Repetition and patience is the way!

I am so happy to see this discussion, because I have the same issue. I am very flexible in my hips and lower back, but my ankles ALWAYS have been extremely tight and I cannot squat unless my feet are pointed very far outwards and even then, I cannot get them flat. I have been practicing yoga for many many years, but I still cannot do titivasana for this reason. Are there any workarounds or particular ankle stretches you can recommend? Thank you so much!

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Yes, there are so many ways to stretch the ankle. Its the calves that are tight, so downward facing dog is great. You could also try one of these calf stretches (the first four are the most effective for the calves).

When you are in a squat, you can simply do what you are doing - turn the feet out and have the heels off the ground - or place a folded blanket or block under them. I find the former helps stretch the calves better.