What does it mean to be grounded? I am sure you have heard this regardless if you are in the yoga community or not. For a person who has struggled with anxiety all her life, finding connection with Mother Earth, and feeling completely connected to myself has been difficult. I have had to really lose myself to find my way back. When I was younger, I experienced intense sweating, breathing, and rapid heart rate just going about everyday life. I would bite my nails, and had OCD tendencies. I had a constant feeling of worry, doubt, and confusion. I felt out of place- like everything and everyone was out to get me. I felt like no one would understand what I was going through, and that I was always going to be this way. Were other people like me? Were other people experiencing similar things like I was? Or was I odd, weird, a misfit?
There were times when I felt better than others. But it wasn't until I found friends and community that accepted me completely for who I was, that I finally felt like I didn't have to have a filter, a mask. I could be my true authentic self and admit out loud that I had issues with anxiety. Sometimes it is easy to pretend like everything is fine, because you've become used to the way things are. I encourage you to find your voice, find your sense of grounding and connection to the Earth, because it will remind you to slow down, take a deep breath, and remember that there are people in the world just like you. Society can mold us into thinking that we have to be a certain way, or we have to have a mentality that fits in with a capitalistic mindset. We have to go-go-go from the next thing to the next. When you step outside and step inside yourself, you can find a deep connection to the Earth, and yourself that is always there waiting for you.
Let me ask you this... what does it mean to not feel grounded? I think it is important to understand what it feels like when we aren't grounded, to fully understand what it means and feels like when we are. I know and feel it so much now when I am not connected, that I have come to understand myself better and what I need to bring myself back to the Earth. When I am not grounded, my chest becomes tight, my body becomes very hot, and my muscles tighten. I know that when I am stressing and worrying about things out of my control, I am not grounded. When I am going over scenarios over and over again in my head, I know I am not grounded. When I can’t enjoy myself and have a good time, I know I am not grounded. When I am worried or concerned what other people think of me, I know I am not grounded. When I am not fully present, and having trouble focusing, I know I am not grounded. These are just a couple things I have learned about myself over the course of my 25 years of existence on this planet. Now I challenge you to ask yourself: “What do I feel like when I am not grounded?” “What happens when I am not grounded?”
Sometimes asking yourself this type of question, and being completely honest, can be difficult. You might have to dig into the parts of yourself that you don’t want to think about or acknowledge. I can almost guarantee you one thing. If you can be honest with yourself about what you feel like when you are not grounded, you will be able to proactively take steps to find ways to find serenity in each moment. To find a sense of connection and peace with your surroundings, and with yourself. When we can show up grounded and connected, we can show up better for those around us, too.
When I am grounded, the energy of the Earth flows through me. I can stand firmly on the ground and I feel connected, present, stable, and safe. I am content with the way things are, and I do not try to change anything. I allow the ebb and flow of life to enter and exit with ease. My body feels fluid and vibrant. I have overcome stuck emotional energy that has built up in my physical body, therefore feeling more free and light weight. I remind myself frequently that “life happens” and I can only control what I can control. I find joy and laughter in the little things. I have confidence in myself and who I am.
There are things 6 things that I found in my life that work for me to get to this place of ease and joy- of pure connection with myself and beautiful Mother Earth.
1. Going for a walk/hike
It sounds so simple, but going for a walk is such an amazing way to connect with nature. Regardless if it is out in the wilderness somewhere or right outside your front door. Whenever I feel the pull of nature calling to me, I always try to make an effort to get outside. It is when I feel the breeze, the scent of flowers, the humming of birds, and my feet planted on the ground, that it comes four circle for me. I remember how vibrant and majestic of a place Earth is, and how it is a privilege to be able to live on such a beautiful planet.
I am going to share some yoga asanas that have especially helped me ground and connect with the Earth.
Childs Pose - Balasana
Childs Pose is one of my favorite poses.. It is so restorative! This pose increases my circulation and creates a relaxed nervous system. My heart is reaching into the Earth, and my hands can feel gravity melting me into the Earth more and more with each breath I take. I feel my spine stretching and lengthening, providing me relief from any pain or stress.
To get into Childs Pose, bring your knees out wide, kiss your big toes to touch and walk your hands forward while simultaneously drawing your hips back towards your heels. Allow your third eye to rest onto the Earth, and breath as you become more rooted into ground below you.
I will randomly put myself into this pose during the day when I am feeling stressed out, and it brings me back and calms me down.
Rag Doll Pose – Uttanasana
I love this pose because it encourages introspection. As I fold down I feel the circulation flowing more freely between each vertebrae. I can feel my mind calming down as my energy is guided towards my heart and the Earth.
To get into Rag Doll Pose, from mountain pose, inhale as you lift your arms up over head. As you exhale slowly begin to fold over your legs. You can take a slight bend into the knees, as much as you need too so your chest is resting on your thighs. Grab opposite elbows and begin to feel gravity root and pull you down closer to the Earth which each breath.
Corpse Pose – Savasana
Good ol’ Savasana. The way most yoga classes conclude are in Savasana, or Corpse Pose. Savasana has so many amazing benefits, and it’s a way to allow your body to fully receive the benefits of your yoga practice. It is also a great pose to take in your day or during meditation to help calm the mind and reduce stress. Sometimes when I am feeling overwhelmed, I will just completely surrender and lay my spine onto the Earth, close my eyes, and let go of physical movement. There are so many distractions and chaos happening in the world around us. Corpse Pose can help to not only help reduce fatigue and anxiety, but it can promote spiritual awakening and higher consciousness.
To get into Corpse Pose, begin to lie down your back. Bring your legs and feet out wide and allow them to open fully. Relax your arms gently by your side. You can have your palms facing up to receive, or if you want a more grounding sensation, you can press your palms into the Earth below you. Find length in your neck by tucking in your chin slightly. Release your tongue from the roof of your mouth, close your eyes, and find stillness.
3. Earthy Teas
Having a cup of tea is one of my favorite things to do. As I am sipping on a cup of tea, I can feel the warmth fueling my soul. One of my favorite places to have a cup of tea is on my balcony as I look out and take in the beauty of the mountains in front of me. It helps connect me to the beauty of nature, while also feeling the warmth of the sun. Two of my favorite kinds of tea I like to drink when I need to feel grounded, are Green Tea and Chamomile tea.
I have always loved writing. Journaling and just writing down and collecting your feelings can help you feel more grounded. I have also used writing poetry to help me connect. One of my favorite things to do is go out in nature, and write poetry or just write about how being in nature makes me feel. It helps put down your thoughts on paper, which can be very therapeutic.
5. Grounding Affirmations & Meditation
Grant yourself 5 minutes or more of quiet meditation. When I meditate, I like to find myself in Savasana. As I meditate, I imagine roots growing out of me and into the Earth. I provactively call upon the energy of Mother Earth to help me feel more grounded and connected. I envision my roots growing all the way into the center of the Earth. I have found that visuals and imagery help me to connect more deeply. Sometimes when I am meditating, or even just during the day I will speak grounding affirmations out loud or in my head. Here are two grounding affirmations you can try:
“I am grounded. I am centered and strong”
“The energy of the earth flows through me. I am protected and safe”
Music is one of the most beautiful gifts I have been given. Having the physical ability to hear music and sing music has been one of the most grounding and joyful experiences of my life. Listening to the musical vibrations, frequencies, and rhythm of the Earth is such an amazing way to ground. Whether you're singing at the top of your lungs, or just listening, it can be an effective way to relax, lift your mood, and connect to yourself.
These six things are just tips you may try to get grounded, connect to yourself, and connect to the Earth around you. I encourage you to find your voice, find your sense of grounding and connection to the Earth, because it will remind you to slow down, take a deep breath, and remember that there are people in the world just like you. We all get lost, and have to find our way back. It is what makes us human. It is an ebb and flow. Everything changes, nothing is permanent. There will be days and moments that are easier than others, but as we go on this internal journey through yoga, and other forms of holistic healing, we can come to understand ourselves better, and each other. I hope you can remind yourself that you are a beautiful, unique human being who can find a sense of grounding, and connection with Mother Earth.
I will leave you with a quote:
“Be rooted in today. Be rooted in your life. Be rooted in the world. Be here now.”