My DH suggested I take some table salt directly under my tongue when I had a bad leg cramp that wouldn't go away. I was skeptical, but he said that is what his football coach had told the players to do. I tried it and to my surprise it worked!
I also try to stretch out the muscle that is cramping -- my foot in virasana for example, I'll turn my foot under, flexing the ankle and toes as much as I can.
Here's a good article from the NY Times www.nytimes.com/2008/02/14/health/nu tr ition/14BEST.html : DR. SCHWELLNUS proposes that the real cause of cramping is an imbalance between nerve signals that excite a muscle and those that inhibit its contractions. And that imbalance, he said, occurs when a muscle is growing fatigued.
His solutions for cramps are to exercise less intensely and for shorter times, to be sure you had enough carbohydrates to fuel your muscles, to train sufficiently and to regularly stretch the muscles that give you problems. These recommendations are based on his recent study of Ironman triathletes, Dr. Schwellnus said.
Make sure you are well hydrated. For feet try to keep the weight off your arches in poses like warrior. The weight should be on the outside of the foot. Sometimes if I twist too deep and put strain on my lower back I get calf cramps. For that, I just try not to overdo it.
A couple of questions: Are you practicing with an instructor at a studio? He or she would be your best help. If not, do you have a mirror where you could see your poses? Are there particular poses where this pain occurs? If it is in down dog, you do not have to put your feel flat on the floor, just approach as close as you can without pain.
Lost 65 lbs and maintained since 2006.
current weight: 20.0 over
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Can anyone suggest anything I can do to prevent foot and leg cramps while I am practicing yoga? I wear yoga socks to keep my feet warm as they cramp up when they get cold but the cramps are really interfering with my practice.
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