Our feet get walked on, jogged on and then squeezed into badly fitting shoes on a daily basis. Misalignment in our feet can lead on to knee, hip and even spine displacement. We have 26 bones leading onto 25 joints and numerous ligaments and muscles all just in one foot and yet they are often forgotten. We need to remind oursleves how to properly engage the whole foot. Take a couple of steps and first press your heel down, then press the ball of your foot under the big toe mound into the ground and then press down under the little toe mound. Using these 3 corners of your feet like suction pads pressing down and this will help you to then lift up through the inner arch of your foot. You need to press down into the feet in order to lift up through the muscles in the legs. When I learned to use my feet properly my asana practiced hugely improved helping me feel not only more grounded and stable but much stronger in my standing poses.
Tip: Next time you are in a standing pose such as triangle try lifting your toes in order to really press down into those 3 corners of the foot. See if this then helps you to lift up through the leg muscles and strengthen the pose as a whole. Then let the toes spread out and come back down to the floor. When you inhale feel the pose lift and lengthen and when you exhale try and really press the feet down into the ground.
In Yoga philosophy there is a lot of importance put on the foot, the foundation of our body, our grounding and our strength. The proper use of the foot as described above is called Pada Bandha or ‘Foot Lock’ helping to get the energy or ‘prana’ flowing through our bodies.