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Pada Bandha: It's time to find your feet

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

Barefoot season is almost back! This month's mini home practice celebrates Spring renewal from a rooted connection to the inner Self. So dare to bare those toes as we explore Pada Bandha, or "foot lock."

Pada bandha is a yoga technique in which the soles of the feet are placed mindfully on the ground in order to cultivate apana, or rooting energy. The practice is calming for the nervous system, anchoring a scattered or stressed mind. Best practiced barefoot, you can practice Pada Bandha any time you feel ungrounded.

To try it, remove your shoes and socks. Stand upright with your two feet placed a comfortable distance apart. Observe the natural placement of your feet. Feel the texture and temperature of the surface you are standing upon. Lift your toes and attempt to spread them apart. Observe the muscular engagement across the tops of your feet and through your main arches. Keeping your toes lifted, press your body weight into the balls of your feet, located at the base of the big toes. Lower your toes while keeping this sense of activation.

Focus your mind on the bottoms of your feet and take a few slow exhales to allow your attention to settle here. Give yourself a little more time to be in stillness.

Let the practice go, and notice any shift in how you feel. Take a moment to reflect on how the energy of rooting is connected to the energy of growth.

Repeat the practice any time you feel unfocused or overwhelmed.

To new beginnings... Happy Spring Equinox!

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About me


Christine Saari, MA, E-RYT 200, C-BDYT is a yoga therapist with private practices in New Haven and Guilford. She lives in Guilford, CT with her husband, two sons, and her goldendoodle. When she's not writing or teaching yoga, you might find her cooking without a recipe or walking barefoot outside. Christine is grateful to be part of the emerging field of yoga therapy, and she is proud to offer health options that empower people to take a leading role in their own healing process.

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