Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What does it mean to 'ground'?

Often, in class, you'll hear an instructor talk about taking a moment "to ground", or describing a pose as "grounding".  Grounding is an energetic term, referring to the feeling of being connected to the earth.  As humans, we connect energetically to the earth, with a downward pull, and to the heavens, with an upward pull.  If either of these is out of balance, we can have trouble concentrating, focusing, or even trouble being creative.  When we spend too much time thinking, worrying, or planning, we need to balance that energy with 'grounding'.

Here's a simple exercise to help you get your feet back on the ground:
Sit or stand with both bare feet on the floor or your mat.
Take a few deep breaths, bringing your attention away from outside interferences, and into your body.
Using the sensory nerves in your feet, notice how the floor feels beneath you.
Is it cool? warm? firm? soft? sticky?
Next, invite your attention to your feet themselves. 
Can you feel the skin on your feet?  What sensations arise?
Sit with these feelings for 10-15 breaths, or as long as you need to feel connected and grounded again.

Use this grounding technique anytime you need to come back down, out of your head!

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