Yup, that's right. Contrary to popular belief, having flat feet is not a "condition" that you're stuck with for the rest of your life. Those pancake tootsies are actually the result of weak feet (not sure if that makes anyone feel better). The good news is that with just a little work, you can lift those arches up in a fairly short amount of time.
Why would a yoga teacher care about raising people's arches? Let's just say that misalignment in the feet can lead to discomfort in your knees and hips, which could further lead to aches in your back, neck, and you get the point. Basically, it can screw up your entire body balance - eek!
So how do we strengthen feet? Check out this site dedicated to curing flat feet for an in depth discussion: https://www.fixflatfeet.com/
Here are some of the sample recommended exercises:
1. Calf stretches (pedaling the feet in down dog is great for this)
2. Heel lifts: Raise the heels up high to stand on your tip-toes and then lower them again, repeat about 15-30 times. Focus on pressing that big toe into the ground as the heels lift up
3. Big-toe, little toe lifts: Alternate lifting the big toe and then all four little toes. Hold each lift 3-5 seconds and repeat 10 times for each foot.
Also, one of my personal favorite exercises is standing on a lacrosse or yoga tune-up ball. Place the ball under the arch and stand there with the heel steady on the ground for one minute. Repeat with the ball under the pinky toe mound and then the big toe mound (one minute each and remember to stabilize the heel on the floor in all positions).
Enjoy your beautiful new foundation!