When we talk about grounding, we are saying that one has their feet on the ground; we mean that the person is in touch with reality, aware and in the present moment, with a developed common sense and not lost in space, past regrets or anxiety about the future. Being grounded means being relaxed, in touch with our truth, inherent wisdom, and knowing. Feeling good in your own skin.
On the mat, grounding implies having a good foundation: having your feet relaxed, your legs strong but not tense, under-standing to rise, letting go of tension, and being able to integrate strength, steadiness, ease, focus, and presence in the practice. A person that can feel his feet on the ground and contact with the earth can be in the present. In this way, grounding is a basic prerequisite to experiencing and living Yoga integrally.
Disconnecting from the body -not being grounded- impacts our emotional, mental, psychological, and physical health tremendously; it reduces our vitality and renders us incapable of experiencing pleasure and joy. On a deeper level, we disconnect from our essence and from the qualities of our soul. An indication that we are not grounded is our inability to concentrate or understand what we feel and what we need. To find balance and harmony, to heal. Stress & Anxiety are extremes of this condition.
Ground yourself, slow yourself down, to blind loving silence. Stay there until you see you are gazing at the light with its own ageless eyes. -Rumi
Because of past trauma, we freeze, our bodies become tense, and we literally hold ourselves away from the earth. We then are afraid to let go, to surrender to what we feel, to relax within our own bodies, and to trust gravity. We end up living life in our heads and pushing ourselves through the tension, disconnected from the present.
We can see all these issues mentioned also reflected in the student’s practice, as what happens on the mat is nothing else but the reflection of our behavior in life. Being ungrounded on the mat may reflect in restlessness when staying in a pose or the inability to breathe fully and calmly. Loss of attention, and tension in the body, starting from the feet and moving up the whole body. Difficulty in balancing. Locking their joints and tensing the muscles instead of engaging, and a wondering gaze.
Anapnoe Yoga is a yoga of awakening through Grounding, an invitation to wake up, to get strong, to release the tension, to move into vulnerability. To let go.
In Anapnoe Yoga, we begin with awareness through the body-mind because it’s important to start with the physical body, the foundation, where we understand not only how to build the yoga pose from the ground up but to stand on our own two feet.
In Chakra Vinyasa, we look more willingly, more closely, and compassionately at some of the patterns that impact our choices and our ability to be in the present time. This journey begins to develop self-confidence, intuition, self-love, and compassion and makes a shift in our perception as individuals within the collective.
'Feet on Earth, head to Heaven'-G. Stone
Tips for Grounding:
- Grounding is something to remember and work on, on an everyday basis.
- Leaning or hugging a tree is grounding, sitting with it on the ground.
- Walking and feeling the ground under our feet, walking barefoot.
- Silence, being in nature, moving slowly, standing and walking without locking the knees.
- Asana: Standing poses integrating all aspects of our being (intention, breath, strength, ease Drishti), a slow practice, forward- bends, gentle restorative back-bends, a yin-yoga or restorative yoga class, observing our body-mind and breath, Drishti or focused gaze, (for developing concentrated intention).
- Observing our physical body in Asana practice
- Calming Pranayama & Meditation. Savasana being the absolute grounding.
- We ground to rise taller; we press down to jump up; we let go to become lighter.
My intention is that by practicing yoga and being committed to these grounding mindful practices and doing the deep work that’s necessary for ourselves, we may develop the empathy necessary so that we can go out to the world and be more loving, more truthful, and more integrated human beings, to surrender to the Divine within and within all. And if we are open, to begin to expand our perspective and understanding in a way perhaps we hadn’t been able to realize before.