Pada bandha is the bandha of the foot. It typically draws the energy from the earth, up the center of the foot, and into the foreleg. Review the blog entries on the foot and the foreleg. Let’s explore it in tadasana, mountain pose. Come to standing with the feet under the hip sockets and begin to notice how the weight is distributed over the feet. For a moment, lift the toes. This heightens awareness of the box of the foot. Feel the four points of the foot actively root into the floor and then lower the toes so that they are active, but long. As the four points root, the four arches naturally begin to lift. This is pada bandha. Remember that the weight bearing bone of the lower leg is the tibia and the steering bone is the fibula. Allow the forces coming up from the earth to travel up the foreleg between the bones all the way to your hip sockets. Continue to play with that action in other standing poses so that it is clear.
As you move into poses where the legs are reaching, allow space to take the place of the floor. The activity in the foot and foreleg is the same and you will continue to feel as though you were sipping energy in, as if through a straw along what gyrotonics calls the 5th line of the leg, that line that runs through the center of the leg. Activating pada bandha gives the leg levity and length.
Don’t become static with your bandhas. Remember the jellyfish image. Keep your bandhas live, active, and pulsating. Open your range of choices.
Also check out Mark Stevens’ post.. Happy practicing!