By nature, we instinctively ground ourselves. Grounding is your connection to and with the earth. The properties of the earth encourage the flow of electromagnetic energy within us. But for sensitives, empaths, the overworked, those glued to their smartphones and technology, and if you dwell in your head a lot, it’s easy to get off balance and lose your center.
The practice of grounding can help us balance out the positive-charge energy that is built up in our bodies and return it to a neutral state. We become centered and present. When we ground to Mother Earth, we fight the effects of damage from free radicals. Studies suggest grounding has the potential to neutralize or reduce inflammation in our bodies.
Basic ways to ground yourself
One of the easiest ways to ground yourself is by walking on the grass or ground in bare feet. Sit under or around a tree. But you don’t even need to be outside to ground. Activities like gardening, dancing, meditation, deep breathing, or even listening to instrumental music like classical or jazz, among other physical or calming activities, can help you to ground.
The discipline of yoga is focused on the body and breath which leaves you with a centered, grounded feeling. Many yoga asanas are especially grounding because of their physical nature, such as the foundational mountain pose, or tree pose, when your ground one foot into the mat.
Use the following techniques to ground yourself as part of a daily practice or whenever you feel thrown off balance:
One simple grounding exercise is to envision a cord of energy traveling down from the base of your spine far into the earth’s core, and then bring that energy back into your body, coming in first through the soles of your feet and gradually traveling up your body to the top of your head. Or, visualize a tree’s roots growing out from the bottom of your feet and taking root deep into the earth. See the roots anchoring you into the earth and stabilizing you.
After you have established the connection with the earth’s energy, a continuous loop of grounding energy can then flow between the core of the earth and the base of your spine. If you feel like you have lost the connection, try the grounding exercise again, or a grounding activity.
The spine and your first chakra, located at the base of your spine in the pelvic area, are keys to grounding and centering. According to intuitive and author Cyndi Dale, the first chakra is “frequently called the primal chakra because it is the entry point for your life-force energy.”
Grounding is conscious connection
“The most surprising thing for most new students is that grounding actually enhances problem solving as it draws the soul closer into their bodies,” says Patrice Connelly of QuestFields, a St. Paul, Minn.-based teacher of intuitive development and spiritual practitioner, in an interview with Spirit Times. “Those with lighter physical fields can work off their body and bring their information back into the body to look at whatever issues or challenges they are facing. Those with more pragmatic physical fields can work with their information directly, filtering out what is the most useful application for their issues or challenges.”
The “work” Connelly refers to is really energy work. “It’s holding the intention and faith that what you are asking for you will use, not let it diffuse. The more you do this, the more awareness and consciousness comes in. It’s feeding yourself, and it takes energy therefore ‘work,’” Connelly says, noting, “We don’t acknowledge how much energetic work we do because most of us much of the time walk around not being conscious of it.”
Expand your inner space, tap into your subtle body
Life can make you feel small. Without knowing it we can make ourselves feel small or draw our energy inward. Sometimes this can be an intentional, protective response in potentially harmful situations, such as to avoid getting bombarded by the thoughts or actions of people in a large crowd. But as experts note, when you reduce your field, you can get easily knocked off base and lose grounding.
“As we move, we don’t move the outer edges of our bodies as well as we should,” says Matthew Sanford, founder of Mind Body Solutions, an organization providing adaptive yoga, in a PBS broadcast, “Mind-Body Dialogues.” He recommends expanding your energy to the edges of your body. Stretch out from the top of your head while pushing your energy down to your feet. Broaden your shoulders.
Get out of your head and into your subtle body by become more aware of your mind-body relationship. Ever notice how you might trip or have an accident when you are rushed or your mind is elsewhere? When you are agitated or experiencing obsessive thoughts, your awareness goes up toward your head. “Try to make your awareness go down in your mind-body relationship as it’s spiraling up,” Sanford says. Again, bring your energy down through your feet.
Subtle, softer awareness enters your mind-body relationship more through the backside of your body, which is sometimes taught in yoga. “To open to what’s behind you creates a sense of ease,” Sanford says. One visualization is to imagine your backside being more like a filter which is receptive to universal, earth energy.
“When a person is grounded, it isn’t that they are only more focused, they are, but that all of their fields, including the subtle body, radiate the light and energy from being connected from the ground through the heart,” Connelly says. “The radiance of your being is allowed to shine forth at the same time the grounded person is centered within themselves.”
Sit and connect for centering
Another way to stay in your body and ground as you sit is to form a stronger connection between your legs and your spine. Sit tall and establish the connection by lengthening your spine. Ground your sitting bones, known as your sitz bones, into the chair or surface. Work to push down your energy through your heels. You will find your quality of breath will improve, making it great for circulation. Remember to breathe fully by letting all the air out of you as you exhale. Feel your cord to the deep earth and your life-force travel up and through your body.
Make grounding routine
Work grounding into your routine by creating triggers to take a grounding action at a certain time such as every time you sit down, get stuck in traffic, or have to wait in a long line. Turn your annoyance into a centering exercise to de-stress and stay present.
Gounding re-establishes our connection to the earth and ultimately keep us in the now, away from excessive thinking, anxiety or being “spaced out.” It’s also keeps us in the now, where magic can happen.
Resources used in this report:
Sandy Blaine, “Ground Your Home Practice with Standing Poses,” Yoga International. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/ground-your-home-practice-with-standing-poses1
Interview with Patrice Connelly of QuestFields and her article, “Grounding: Why we need it,” Edge Magazine. http://www.edgemagazine.net/2017/03/grounding-why-we-need-it/
Cyndi Dale, The Intuition Guidebook: How to Safely and Wisely Use Your Sixth Sense (Deeper Well Publishing, 2011). https://cyndidale.com/
“Mind-Body Dialogues” television show by TPT Co-Productions, PBS. featuring Matthew Sanford of Mind Body Solutions and Dr. Bruce Kramer of St. Thomas. Moderated by Almanac host Cathy Wurzer. Produced with the University of St. Thomas , original airing January 2014.