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200Hrs Yoga Teacher Training

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Applied Yoga Anatomy. Feet and Foot Positions

Feet position impact on the Asana

Correct feet position will be the foundation of stable poses and pleasant yoga experience. In order to maintain these experiences, here are some guidelines for proper foot placement in general:

Stable Base

Feet position has a vast impact on the Asana that you are attempting. This does not only hold true for standing poses but for all poses.

Equal Weight Distribution

For all standing poses, there should be equal weight distribution among all four corners of the foot. The four corners of the foot are:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMyC6xPg6nM
  • The mound of the big toe
  • The mound of the little toe
  • The back of the outer heel
  • The back of the inner heel

This ensures that the rest of your body does not have to compensate by moving out of alignment due to unequal weight distribution.

Finding Alignment

A great cue for “make your feet parallel” is “middle toes facing forward”.

To find out which way your foot is “facing”, draw a line from the center of your front ankle to the middle toe.

The Yoga Set Position 1

Tadasana – most standing poses have their root in tadasana. It is important that you do this pose correctly because since it is the foundation, all your standing poses will be affected.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Big Toes together, sides of the foot parallel with sides of the mat.
  • Feet are pressing into the ground in all four corners equally
  • Ground drawn equally up through the arch of the foot into the shin bones
  • Ankle bone should extend straight down through the front of the heel

Externally Rotated Foot

This foot is used for all hip openers. Externally rotating your foot rotates the top of your thigh. This sets your hips to open more. A great cue to communicate this is “top of the little toes turning sideways to face the ground”.

Flointed Foot

This is a position in the middle of flex and point (thus the name) a description of how to do this is “pretend you’re wearing high heels”.
Balls of the toes are the furthest point of the foot from the heel. This is used in movements with a hamstring stretch – to protect the back of the legs from overstretching.

Putting your foot in this position activates the muscles in the back of the leg so that there is muscular support for your hamstring stretches. This is also the position for all seated poses wherein the foot is not active.

Pointed Foot

This is used for all leg positions that remain in neutral, or where you need to engage muscles on the back leg. Examples are for prone position or kneeling.

Another useful tip is not to ignore the feet when they are not an active support of the pose. Remember that the entire body should be engaged in the pose. That means that energy should be present in the feet all the time.



Responses

  1. I never thought about that externally rotating the foot would help to open the hip. Great insight!

  2. Great teaching, particularly important to bear in mind that energy should be present in the feet constantly…I think that this is something easy to forget. Thank you.

  3. hello
    with regards ‘externally rotated foot position’…..
    I think needs to be to ‘Internally rotated foot’ aiding (and aided by) Externally rotated Hips ??
    more accurate to say Inversion of foot/ankle
    🙂 x x