Grounding Practices

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Nurturing Your Practice

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There are times in our lives when we need a little bit of grounding, be you a young and new yogi or a seasoned veteran yogi.  You might feel as though you’re moving quickly and can’t catch your breath, or may you feel as if you are stuck in the thinking phase and cannot move into the doing. Whatever the case may be, if you are finding yourself in search of practices to help you feel grounded, connected, and at ease, you’re in the right place. There is a misunderstanding that we always want to raise our vibration or energy; the part that is usually missing is the reminder to come back down. Though we might benefit from experiencing these more quick and airy times, it is always important to come back down to the frequency of the earth. This is where grounding practices can come into play. Online yoga teacher training programs are a consideration when looking to expand your skills on creating on grounding practices. 

Restorative yoga is one way to feel more grounded and connected to oneself. In a restorative yoga sequence, you will see three to four poses that are held for long periods of time. The low amount of movement and keeping it slow is helpful to cultivate the atmosphere of release and ease. Key to the feelings of groundedness that restorative yoga is known for, most of the postures that are included are on the ground whether they are seated, supine, or prone. Restorative yoga postures also always have the support of yoga props. By bringing in things like blankets, pillows, bolsters, and blocks, the practitioner feels completely supported and almost held during their practice. 

Pranayama, or breathwork, is another great grounding practice and helps to facilitate feelings of groundedness and ease. For some, just bringing the attention to the breath is enough to feel grounded as the breath naturally lengthens. Bumble bee breath is a pranayama technique where the practitioner covers the eyes and ears and hums with each exhale. This practice also induces a feeling of calm and ease. Nadi shodhana is another breath practice that can cause a sense of calm within the physical body to communicate to the mind that you are safe. This breath practice involves breathing in and out of only one nostril at a time, using the fingers as a valve to close off the nose. It should be noted that pranayama can be activating for some; if you experience this while practicing pranayama, stop and continue breathing normally. This is a totally normal reaction.

Moon salutations might also be a fun tool to incorporate into one’s grounding personal practices as it leverages the cooler, lunar, and feminine side of the body and human experience. Vinyasa yoga flows are the opposite, known to be heating and accessing the solar side of the body. Vinyasa classes may have the opposite effect on someone who is looking for a grounding practice. On the other hand, moon salutations activate the root chakra by moving through postures like goddess squat and low lunge. Other grounding yoga asana may include any postures that express the root chakra and postures heavily supported by the floor or props such as malasana or yogi squat, child’s pose, and corpse pose. You can find a moon salutation sequence below:

Moon salutation:

  • Upward facing salute (inhale)
  • Crescent stretch (exhale)
  • Upward facing salute (inhale)
  • Crescent stretch, second side (exhale)
  • Upward facing salute (inhale)
  • Goddess squat (exhale)
  • Triangle pose (inhale)
  • Pyramid pose (exhale)
  • Low lunge (inhale)
  • Skandasana, bending into front leg (exhale)
  • Goddess squat (inhale)
  • Skandasana, second side (exhale)
  • Low lunge, second side (inhale)
  • Pyramid pose, second side (exhale)
  • Triangle pose, second side (inhale)
  • Goddess squat (exhale)
  • Upward facing salute (inhale)
  • Tadasana (exhale)

Eating and drinking grounding foods and drinks can be a wonderful way to ground oneself, as well. Applying the lens of ayurvedic nutrition, we can incorporate warming and heavier foods of the kapha dosha into our diet to help us feel more grounded. Things like potatoes, squash, warming spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, rice and seeds. You can employ one or all of these grounding practices to support yourself with the feelings of connection and groundedness that you might need. If you are interested in learning more about grounding practices or Yoga and Ayurveda, you can check out My Vinyasa Practice’s online yoga courses and learn from one of their many knowledgeable teachers and authors.

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