Foot Lock

Definition - What does Foot Lock mean?

Foot lock is a technique used in yoga to harness energy, or prana, for the body and draw it upward from the ground. It is practiced by using the muscles of the feet, ankles and legs to lift the arch of the foot, creating space between the center of the foot and the ground. The toes remain relaxed. In turn, this is said to help activate the root lock, or mula bandha.

It is particularly important in yoga as the feet are given spiritual significance. Students may touch or kiss their gurus’ feet as a mark of respect, and it is recognized that the feet provide a foundation of the temple of the body.

Foot lock is also known by its Sanskrit name, pada bandha.

Yogapedia explains Foot Lock

The foot lock is believed to activate the inner energetic lines of the body, helping them feel simultaneously more grounded and light. It is also recognized to have the following physical benefits:

  • Strengthens muscles of the feet and legs
  • Improves stability when standing and in yoga postures
  • Prevents arches of the feet collapsing
  • Relieves the tension of muscles becoming hypertonic
  • Creates a feeling of expansion through the joints
  • Alleviates flat feet
  • Prevents one cause of lower back pain

Foot lock is often practiced initially in mountain pose, or tadasana, but can be integrated into all standing yoga postures. It can also be practiced in conjunction with other foot exercises, such as lifting and lowering the toes. Some suggest that foot lock should be the focus of a yoga practice on a regular basis.

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