Get your heels high in asana and prevent loss of iron through the heel of your foot.
“Foot strike hemolysis” studies have been done in runners mostly, but lifting onto the toes in yoga asana could help, especially when you are anaemic. There can be a lot of weight placed on the heels in asana. So lift your heels whenever you can, especially if you anaemia and weak arches.
Now, the way we stand on our feet not only affects posture but can lead to sacral joint pain, stiffness in the lower back and, or, upper back. When the heels are cracked and dry, it might be obvious to one that there is a lot of weight coming down on the heel on the foot, which can lead to pain all the way up to the neck.
Ayurveda looks at cracked heels with a deeper view and relates the cracked dry heel to VATA being out of balance….too much movement, running, exercise or too much air element overall. Ayurveda suggests this affects not only the lower back, but the colon as well, causing dryness and irregular digestion. Ayurveda sees digestion as primary and whatever is going on in the digestive tract or bowels affects the whole body, even the mind.
Interestingly, most of our iron is absorbed in the portion of the small intestine called the duodenum. There may be a second minor absorption site near the end of the small intestinal tract. Exercise may lead to induced blood loss through the GI tract and contribute to iron deficiency.
During exercise visceral blood flow can be reduced by more than 50%, due to increased sympathetic nervous system activity. Therefore, if you are running, or you do high intensity exercise, make sure you practice a long restorative shavasana afterwards to increase blood flow to visceral organs and increase parasympathetic nervous systems response.
Shavasana, or corpse pose, being the most important pose to master and practice daily.
References and Additional Resources
“The present data indicate that, whereas general circulatory trauma to the red blood cells associated with 1 h of exercise at 75% maximal oxygen uptake may result in some exercise-induced hemolysis, footstrike is the major contributor to hemolysis during running.”
Exercise-induced hemolysis has been reported for more than 50 years (11). In particular, distance running has been associated with significant destruction of red blood cells (RBC) with RBC turnover being substantially higher in runners compared with untrained controls (29). Several groups have suggested that mechanical damage to RBC occurs as they pass through the capillaries of the foot during the footstrike phase (5, 8, 10, 20, 29).”
“During exercise visceral blood flow can be reduced by more than 50%, due to increased sympathetic nervous system activity, in function of exercise intensity, with possible necrosis and mucosal bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract. Repeated episodes of training and competition induced blood loss through the gastrointestinal tract may, therefore, contribute to iron deficiency and anaemia within athletes”