*Belco reminds us that when ankles are really stiff, it's important to protect the knees, since the joints just above and just below the compromised joint are always directly affected.
3. Malasana: Garland of Flowers Pose
Shift right into this pose by lifting your knees off the ground and placing your heels on the floor so you're in a squat position. The goal of this pose is to reach your arms around the back of your heels and clasp them there. "It's called Garland Pose because your arms are intertwined around your legs like a garland of flowers," Belco says.
But chances are, if you're ankles, knees or hips are stiff, you won't be able to balance with your heels directly on the floor so you can hold onto something in front of you, with your arms extended out front.
3.?Simhasana One: Lion Pose
"This is really good for your calves," Belco says. Kneel back down, glue one knee against the other and cross your shin bone on top of your calf muscle. Sit like that for a while and switch sides.
Now practice your standing poses—Warrior One and Two and Triangle. If your ankles are extremely stiff, you can use a wedge under the ball of your front foot in Triangle Pose in order to fully straighten your front leg and feel the complete benefits of the pose for your ankles, knees and hips.
"It can't hurt to also do a Down Dog here," says Belco.
To finish off, Belco suggests doing a quad stretch standing with your knees at the same height and in line. According to her, it's key to keep your buttocks muscles backwards and your thigh towards your knee while doing this.
Sign up for a yoga class.
Christina Scannapiego is the Outdoors editor for Active.com.