In a yoga practice, early lessons frequently center on the simple act of standing upright.
If you can feel your weith releasing into the three points of contact between the foot and the earth, you may be able to feel the support that the earth gives back to you through the action of the arches of the foot and the muscles that control them.
Humans are the least stable of creatures, possessing the smallest base of support, the highest center of gravity, and (proportionately) the heaviest brain balancing atop it all.
The architecture of the feet, along with their musculature, shows nature's unmatched ability to reconcile and neutralize opposing forces.
Stiff shoes and paved surfaces teach our feet to be passive and inarticulate. Yoga exercises are done barefoot, with much attention given to restoring the strength and flexibility of the foot and lower leg.
The arches of the feet are engaged and connecting with the support of the pelvic floor, lower abdomen, rib cage, cervical spine, and crown of the head.
The essential structure of the foot can be represented by a triangle. The three points of the triangle are the three places where the foot's structure will rest on a supporting surface:
the distal end of the first metatarsal
the distal end of the fifth metatarsal
The lines connecting these points represent three of the arches, lines of lift through which postural support is derived:
the medial longitudinal arch
the lateral longitudinal arch
the transverse (metatarsal) arch.
There is also a fourth arch, called the medial transverse arch or the tarsal arch, that is across the tarsal bones from the navicular to the cuboid.
The foot has evolved in a world with no roads or side walks. When the adaptability of the foot is no longer needed during locomotion, the deeper muscles that support the arches can weaken, eventually leaving only the superficial nonmuscular plantar fascia responsible for peventing the collapse of the foot. The more the arch support muscles weaken, the more pressure is put on the plantar fascia, which can result in plantar fasciitis and heel spurs as well as metatarsal swelling.
Standing positions have the highest center of gravity of all the starting points