Press and Rebound or "Root to Rise"
Have you ever heard your yoga teacher say in class “root down to rise up”? The root down part goes back to my previous post about foundation, read that one before you keep reading this one.
Root to rise is the same as the concept of press and rebound during a yoga posture.
Press and rebound occurs when you press into the ground through your base (foundation) in order to lengthen and elongate the body. It requires engagement of the muscles in order to lift and elongate. Press and rebound is lost when the muscles begin to fatigue.
We begin to compromise the joints when we can’t engage the muscles. Without press and rebound, the integrity of the pose is lost.
Applying force downwards will create an opposing force upwards. Think about how a ball bounces when you drop it. This is why you’ll sometimes hear the instruction to “root down to rise”.
Try this out in Vasisthasana / Side Plank, how does it feel if you push the floor away actively with your hand, can you feel the lightness in the body as a result? Or in Handstand, when you actively press down through your hands your kick up can then be much lighter.
Root down to rise up! What a concept!
Let’s explore this concept with Chaturanga Dandasana – Plank Pose
· Press through your hands and feet, up the arm bones to elongate through the spine.
Let’s take this concept off the Mat
What I love most about this “root-to-rise” phrase, is how beautifully it translates to life off the mat. To be able to rise, sometimes we have to sink our roots more deeply into the earth. With strong roots, and stable foundation a tree is able to rise up above and reach the highest of heights. In the same way for us, as we ground in our lives and have a stable foundation, we are better able to rise above any difficulties life brings us.
As unpleasant as the rooting can be sometimes, it is truly key to not only our survival, but to our ability to thrive as human beings! Grounding is a sign that you’re laying the groundwork necessary to rise higher up ahead.
With love and gratitude!