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Pada Bandha: The Foot Lock

In Sanskrit, "pada" means "foot" and "bandha" means "lock". Working with Pada Bandha adds a unique richness to an asana practice. It works with forces in opposition, utilizing a deeply grounded support through the feet along with an energetic expansion up the legs, to create a functional, structurally sound, and stable buoyancy in the body.

Anatomy of Pada Bandha


  • Create even weight distribution throughout the foot

  • Build a strong foundation for standing poses

  • Center, stabilize, and balance the body

  • Strengthen the arches of the feet

  • Engage and tone the muscles of the lower body

  • Alleviate postural discomfort in the feet, legs, and lower back


  • Begin standing

  • Lift toes, spread them wide, and plant them down firmly

  • Identify points of stability of each foot (big toe mound, little toe mound, the point between both corners of the heel)

  • Ground down through points of stability

  • Lift through the central arch of both feet and draw energy upward

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