Updated: Jan 12, 2021
There are times in life where we feel the need to get grounded. What does that mean? Getting grounded means utilizing some of our skills to help us when we are feeling overwhelmed by life. There is a myriad of reasons as to why we feel overwhelmed- stress, illness, financial burden, relationship troubles, family issues etc. When this happens, there is a tendency to feel detached, flighty, unstable and out of balance.
Grounding practice is a way of bringing ourselves literally back to earth. One can say that the earth is our bodies so grounding entails connecting to our physical nature in order to establish a sense of weighted security- a safe haven called home.
Whatever we can do to come into the present moment and get focused is a form of grounding practice. One of the easiest ways to ground ourselves is to bring our attention to our breath as it enters and leaves our bodies. The breath can only exist in the moment (not the past or future), so paying attention to the breath is an excellent way to ground.
Connecting to our senses can take us inward and feel nurturing and healing. Self- massage (touch), burning sage or frankincense (smell), eating hot soup made with roots vegetables (taste), listening to calming music or singing (sound), fixing our gaze on something that represents the earth (sight) all can help us to ground.
Connecting to the elements is another beautiful way to ground ourselves. Some activities may include walking in the forest, gardening, getting into the water (even a bath), sitting around a fire and deep breathing outside (which fills our lungs with oxygen and moves stagnant energy through our bodies). If we live in a city and can't get to a forest or lake or fire, we can practice imagining that we have roots growing out of the bottoms of our feet connecting us to the earth. We can also receive powerful energy from the sky and our allow our bodies to bring these two energies together in a sacred union.
There are lots of beautiful nature recordings we can easily (and freely) access on YouTube such as of crickets chirping, ocean waves, fires crackling, birds tweeting etc. All of these can help take us into our bodies and imaginations where we can find a safe place within to relax and settle.
Moving the body is probably the most direct and effective way to ground. Walking, running, dancing, doing yoga or tai chi or martial arts, lying down in the forest, crawling, hugging a tree, tapping our bodies, rubbing our feet, having sex. Perhaps we can also engage in something creative and crafty like collage, vision boards, painting, knitting, carving etc.
Finally, meditation is an excellent and accessible way to ground our bodies, observe our breath and still our minds. Moving the physical body before meditation is a dynamic and energizing way to express and activate our physical nature before coming to the cushion to sit in stillness and quietude.
When we are grounded, we essentially become strong containers in which our minds, emotions and spirits can safely dwell. In the chakra system, the second centre at the pelvic floor is known as, "Swadhistana"- the dwelling abode of the self. How perfect is that?
Finding ways to ground ourselves every day (especially at the beginning of the day) is a beneficial practice for everyone. It is an act of self care and self love and makes us more equipped and sturdy to endure all of life's challenges. It's part of the path to self realization- the path to coming home.