What does "root down" mean?

Beginner question: What does “root down” mean? Take tree pose, for example. When I stand on one foot, that foot supports my entire body weight, so I can’t press down any harder on it. And I’m actively stabilizing the foot so I don’t topple over. When a teacher tells me to root down through the foot, what is she asking me to do that I’m not already doing by the act of standing on it? I’ve heard teachers say to “root down” in other poses, too, but it hasn’t made any more sense to me in those other contexts.

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I get that feeling of rooting down when I tuck the pelvis forward, contract my core, try to concentrate in staying still from inside (so my feet is perfectly still too), with feet-ankle-knee-hip all aligned. So it is a lot more than just the feet… Very simply, I can feel it in mountain pose. It took me quite a while to feel it, I used to hate that pose :wink:
It is my own interpretation though, hope it can help!

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Oh yes, and I always try to have even weight on the 4 parts of my feet!

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Hi! Good question … the term or expression to ‘root down’ gives you the opportunity to ground your energy through the four corners of your feet evenly. (the base of the big toe mound, inner heel, outer heel and outer edge of the foot). The anchor and energy through the feet become actively engaged and as you softly press down, gives you the ability to lift through the legs, awaken the core connection, draw the torso tall and float the crown of the head skyward. Hope that helps :slight_smile:

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Great answers, team! The one thing that I envision is the ‘spreading’ of roots into the ground from the entire bottom surface of my foot. So I feel like my foot is reaching and spreading, creating an even broader, solid base for me to stand on.

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Some good answers. For me, it helps not to think of it as “pressing down.” In fact, think of lightness. You are rooted firmly, but also there’s a lightness, meaning if you’re rooted down solidly, the rest of you feels light, in a sense. I also try to think about is as an energy flow. I focus on the solid core, the importance of yoga breath, and a flow from the top of the head down to my feet.

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Thanks for all the replies. As a yoga newbie, I don’t grasp many of the concepts here. But a common theme seems to be, “spread your weight evenly across your entire foot.” That’s helpful.

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