Yoga to help you get grounded

yoga-tree

The other day I forgot my pants. Ok, I didn’t actually walk around in public with no pants but I left them at the yoga studio after class! Then yesterday I put a co-worker’s keys in my jacket pocket. She set them down on my desk. I still am not sure what happened but I must have thought they were mine and pocketed them so I wouldn’t “lose” them. (I definitely owe her chocolate…) Ever have one of those spacey days?!

What does it mean to be grounded?

Grounded is a term you hear a lot in yoga circles. It may sound a bit strange. And maybe you’re not quite sure what it means. Chances are you have had experiences like I just described. Losing and forgetting stuff, procrastinating, finding it hard to focus and concentrate… These are everyday examples of not being grounded.

Although is kind of sounds spiritual, grounding is actually a very pragmatic concept. When you are grounded, it is easier to get through daily tasks. You are able to function more efficiently in the world. You likely feel more settled and at ease.

It’s also an important concept when it comes to your health and wellbeing. When you spend a lot of time thinking, your energy is directed upward into your mind. This may create an imbalance and leave you feeling scattered and less emotionally stable. To recreate balance, you need to bring some of that energy back down and into your body.

Grounding also involves a larger mental shift. When you find a connection to the earth, you feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself. You see you are not alone but part of a huge, vibrant system of life. You see your own problems in a different way. And when you release your body to gravity, you may also find a place for your mind to rest.

How yoga helps you get grounded

Yoga nurtures a connection to your physical body. It helps you refocus your energy downward and create physical stability. But don’t confuse this with a feeling of heaviness. It is also energizing. The ground beneath your feet holds you but there is also a sense of pushing back. You draw energy from the earth.

Here are a few ways that yoga can help you feel grounded.

1. Practice postures the focus on the root chakra.

Muladhara chakra is located at the base of your spine. It is related to the element of earth. When this chakra is in balance, you tend to be comfortable in your body, and feel safe and secure. In other words, you feel grounded. Practice asanas with a strong base of support to waken and balance your root chakra.

Some poses to get you started:
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Chair (Utkatasana)
Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I)
Squat (Malasana)
Wide-angle seated forward bend (Upavishta Konasana)

2. Picture a connection to the earth while in each pose.

Tune in to the points where your body is touching the mat. In standing poses, feel the strength and security in your legs. In seated and lying poses, feel how your body is fully supported by the earth. Imagine soak up some of the grounding energy the earth provides.

3. Breathe.

One of the simplest ways to feel more settled is to stop and breathe. Take long, deep breaths. Set your mind on your breath. As you inhale, focus on how your breath feels as it enters your nostrils and moves through your body. This one-pointed attention gives your mind a chance to settle. It becomes calm and steady instilling you with a sense of being grounded.

What do you do when you need a little grounding in your life? Just hit reply to share.

Have a wonderful, well-grounded week!

Photo courtesy of Tina Floersch

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