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As I am stuck in Brazil doing quarantine, this morning I was barefoot outside in my parent’s garden playing with my dogs. Just the feeling of stepping on grass was so refreshing and energizing. This reminded me of how important it is to ground ourselves on a regular basis…and if you incorporate yoga to grounding, you reap even more benefits. But anyway you must be wondering what is grounding and what are some yoga grounding techniques that we can incorporate into our lives?
What Is Grounding?
Grounding or also known as “earthing” is pretty much what it sounds like, which means stepping barefoot on natural grounds such as grass, sand, or earth. Believe it or not, our bodies are electrically charged, composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Due to our modern lifestyle, like using lots of technology, breathing polluted air, and eating way too much processed foods, our body’s electricity becomes unbalanced. On top of that, we spend most of our time during the day inside and always wearing shoes, in fact when is the last time you have gone out and walked barefoot on grass or at the beach? I am guessing it was a while ago, specially when you live in the city.
The natural ground has negatively charged electrons, in which when you step on the earth, it counteracts all the positively charged free radicals that is inside your body, creating beneficial impacts for your body and mind.
Benefits Of Grounding
In order to obtain the benefits from grounding, you must be aware when you are doing it, and also it helps to visualize all this beneficial electricity going into our body. Although there are still many studies to be conducted, there has already been enough studies that prove that grounding can be beneficial (you can read two studies here or here). Some benefits that really stand out:
- Anxiety & Depression – grounding can reduce cortisol levels, therefore decreasing your levels of stress, and improving your mood
- Insomnia – people who do grounding have better sleep
- Heart Health – grounding can lower blood pressure, specially for those who have hypertension
- Chronic Pain & Inflammation – as free radicals are the main reason for causing inflammation in our bodies, the negatively charged electrons neutralizes the free radicals
Bear in mind that regular practice is imperative in order to gain benefits of grounding (I think that this actually applies to anything in life).
As usual, please contact a health provider if you have any medical concerns. This is not intended as medical advice.
My No. 1 Favorite Yoga Grounding Technique
Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is one of the best yoga grounding technique. Yes, I know it seems like a simple pose! But it is so much more. It is the foundation of all yoga poses. Yoga overall already has so many benefits, but there are so many specifics to this pose such as:
- The Best Pose for Grounding – as you are placing both of your feet flat on the ground
- Strengthening Your Muscles – as you are flexing your muscles as you hold on to this position, you strengthen all your muscles, specially your thighs
- Finding Peace Within Yourself – this pose is all about finding balance within yourself, thus once you are correctly aligned, you will find that you become calmer
- Great For Your Posture – as you need to align your back straight, and have every part of your body in the correct place, this will make sure you have a healthy posture
- Improves Back Pain – as mentioned above, this position is the best for aligning your back, so with time you can greatly reduce your chronic back pain (just make sure you do it under the guidance of a yoga teacher if you have any back problems)
- Improves Breathing – as your chest is open due to the pose, you can expand your lungs and breathe deeper
- Improves Balance – this pose is all about having all your body weight evenly balanced on both of your feet, so this naturally balances your body
How to practice the mountain pose (tadasana):
- Keep your feet together, big toe touching big toe, and heels slightly touching each other. Lift your feet up and stretch all your toes and ground your feet back on the floor. Sway your body side to side and back and forth, eventually stopping and making sure that your weight is evenly spread between both feet.
- Raise your knee caps and contract your thigh muscles. Elongate your tailbone towards your heels, and raise your pubic bone in the direction of the navel.
- Bring your shoulders into your back, and drop them down. Raise your sternum (but not the ribs), and make sure your collarbones are wide. Drop your arms down and leave them slightly engaged, palm of your hands facing forward, and spread your fingers
- Neck must be straight until the crown of your head, and your chin needs to be parallel to the floor, relax your throat and tongue, and breathe smoothly. Hold pose for 30 seconds to one minute.
You will truly feel more in balance and grounded after doing this exercise. Although it is super beneficial to practice this on your grass, it will still benefit you if you do it inside your home.
You should not practice if you have a headache, insomnia, dizziness, or low blood pressure.
How About Other Yoga Grounding Techniques?
Actually, you can practice grounding techniques with any yoga poses. The secret to grounding during yoga is this:
- When your feet are on the floor, be aware of the physical connection to the ground,
- If your hands are on the floor, be aware of your hands touching the floor, really feel the connection
- At the same time, be spiritually connected – feel gratitude towards mother earth
- Make sure you are breathing the right way (pranayama)
- You can say quietly a mantra, such as “I am grounded”
These are all techniques that can help you to feel more grounded and connected to our Earth. If you are outside on grass, sand, or the earth, even better! If not, you can do at home. And for those who may be interested, you may purchase some “grounding” devices on Amazon such as: earthing sheet, grounding mat, grounding pillow case, or even earthing socks!
Practice Every Day
As we are not going through easy times right now due to Covid-19, we need to be aware of our emotions more than ever. Its times like these that can make us feel not grounded, and feel worried about what is going to happen next. Grounding, whether you are walking barefoot on grass, practicing yoga on grass, or even just doing a mountain pose at home, can make you feel more secure and connected with your emotions.
Practicing grounding and yoga every day is crucial to reap the benefits of being grounded with our Earth. Being aware of our home, mother Earth, reminds us of how lucky we are to be alive. This is why it’s also super important to take care of Earth, before it’s too late. And you can do this many ways of course, and one of them being wearing and using eco friendly yoga products.
Have you ever tried grounding? if you have, how did you feel?