The Earth Connection: A Guide to Staying Grounded for Busy Times
So what exactly does it mean to be grounded? It is a term we hear more and more these days in a fast paced modern world where technology, work and family demands can all take their toll at points, leaving us feeling stressed, wired and disconnected. On a very primal level, being grounded speaks of our connection to the earth beneath our feet – a source of potent and revitalising energy which roots us to this world in a palpable way. Everything is made up of energy – known as ‘chi’ in Chinese medicine and ‘prana’ in yogic circles, it is this vital energy which, when depleted, can leave us feeling exhausted and even depressed.
We spend a great deal of time in our heads in the West, which can serve to disconnect ourselves from the rest of our body and its needs and also place an unhealthy amount of attention on a part of ourselves that doesn’t always have the right answers or even a nice word to say! Yogic and more Eastern philosophies and medicine recognise the true energy centres in a human being as the heart and the hara, the vibrant power hub located just below the naval centre. Obviously we have a mind for good reason but it needs to be balanced alongside these two centres for a more sustainable and joyful way of life.
So how do we become more grounded? The simplest way is to walk barefoot on the ground whether it be a local park or your garden, or if you are lucky to find yourself near one, a stroll along a sandy beach. The simple act of walking is a powerful way to connect to our legs and feet and to allow the magnificent force of earth energy to clear energy blocks in the lower body allowing prana to circulate more freely. If you are unable to do this for lack of green space or weather reasons (!) there are other ways to ground your energy. From a soothing self-foot massage, a warm bath with a few drops of grounding oils such as patchouli and frankincense, through to having a new haircut or manicure. All of these activities stimulate and balance the root chakra, the grounding energy point in the body helping you to feel calmer, more connected and present. People with vital and balanced root chakras are independent, physically and financially secure and able to thrive. People with weak or unbalanced root chakras tend to be fearful, insecure and concerned about their physical or financial security. Keeping crystals such as red agate or smoky quartz on your person either in the form of jewellery, in a pocket or even in a bottle of water to create a gem elixir, are all excellent ways to help ground your subtle energies – you can buy crystals for just a couple of pounds from esoteric gift shops, websites and even on eBay!
If you are feeling ungrounded in the office, for example after a morning of meetings or having been sat in front of your computer, a quick way to become more grounded is to wiggle your toes or clench your feet as though making fist and take a bit of a stroll around your environment. Energy flows where focus goes so the very simple act of turning your awareness to your feet and legs can help the flow out of the head and into the rest of your body allowing for a boost of new energy while the mind has a quick breather.
Yoga asanas are very helpful in grounding our energies. Standing poses such as the warrior sequences, triangle and tree, are all very effective in building strength in the lower body, especially the legs. There are some transformative kundalini poses that also ground the energy and many of these can be found online.
Being grounded also means being very present in our thoughts and attitudes and awareness. This sense of being grounded to the present moment is known as ‘mindfulness’ and practicing it can help us to stay balanced, centered and aligned, enabling us to control the reactive knee jerk and defensive behavioral patterns of our ego and shadow consciousness. Just noticing your immediate environment – the colour of the walls, the movement of the wind in the trees, the sounds in and around you are all instant ways to become more grounded into the present moment. I will end by wishing you a connected and grounded rest of day and with the wise and beautiful words of Theodore Roosevelt:
“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”
Om shanti om xx
Becca Harrison, Yoga Teacher and Reiki Practitioner