If you’ve been in a yoga class before, it’s likely that you may have heard the instructor talk about poses and practices that have a grounding effect. Read on to learn what that means and why you might want to do it.
What is grounding?
Grounding, or earthing, is a technique that’s said to help bring us into the present moment, to make us feel connected and focused.
From a natural therapies perspective, part of this involves reconnecting our physical body with the earth as there is a belief that we need to sync ourselves with the Earth’s electrical charges (and modern life has increasingly brought us away from being in natural environments).
In yoga therapy, grounding mostly involves working with our body’s connection to the ground underneath us (whether we are sitting, standing or lying down), and performing practices to balance the base, or root chakra – Muladhara – which is located by your tailbone. There is an idea that grounding can be physical, psychological or emotional. When this chakra is balanced, it is associated with feelings of stability, security, comfort and strength. Regardless of the challenges that life throws our way, we can weather the storm.
If things aren’t right with this chakra, it’s associated with feeling unstable, disconnected, stressed, insecure, anxious or uneasy. This may literally manifest in physical issues such as injury or instability around the tailbone or lower pelvis.
Regardless of what you choose to believe, many non-esoteric grounding practices are adopted by mental health services as they can have a positive affect on the way we think and feel.
What are some grounding practices?
Some practices you can do to help you feel grounded include:
- Get outdoors and into nature (especially around trees/forests or bodies of water such as the ocean or rivers).
- Go swimming. Even better if it’s in the sea.
- Strong, sturdy yoga poses such as Tadasana or the Warrior poses.
- Close your eyes and take awareness to the physical points where your body connects to the Earth.
- Getting barefoot on natural surfaces such as grass, dirt or sand.
- Meditate – even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
- Close your eyes and take 10 slow, even breaths down into your belly.
- Chevalier, G., Oschman, J., Sinatra, S., Sokal, K. and Sokal, P. (2012). Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077.