The word grounded gets used a lot in yoga. Yoga teachers all over the world use it in their daily vocabulary but this is not because we are trying to sound all earthy and yogic. The word grounded actually has real depth and meaning and it can be particularly significant at this time of the year when it’s so easy to lose our sense of balance.
Luckily, we yogi’s have a myriad of tools available to help keep us balanced. Check out these 5 ways yoga can help you feel more grounded through the festive season.
1. Practice Postures That Work The Root Chakra
On an energetic level, our sense of grounding comes from the root chakra (muladhara), also known as the base chakra. When this energy centre is flowing freely we feel connected, secure and grounded so add a few postures that work this chakra to your practice and reap the awesome benefits.
- Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
- Virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1)
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2)
- Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-angle standing forward bend)
- Upavistha Konasana (Wide-angle seated forward bend)
2. Feel A Deep Connection With The Ground Beneath You As You Hold Every Posture
If your mind is buzzing all over the place, then take your focus out of your head and into the physical shape of the poses you are working with. Whether you are in Sukhasana (Easy Pose), Eka Hasta Vrksasana (One-Armed Handstand), or Shavasana, if you can tune in to the points where your body connects with the mat beneath you, you might start to soak up some of that grounding energy that the earth provides. This is also a simple way of diffusing stress that can overwhelm our minds at this time of year.
This might sound a bit obvious, but rushing around can easily create a divide between body and breath and this can make us feel as though we are literally spinning. The easiest way to quickly feel more settled is to stop, and breathe. Try closing your eyes and watching the breath at the nose tip for a few minutes. This simple act of one pointed attention will slow down the mind and very soon your body and breath should follow and become more calm and steady.
4. Be Mindful Of How You Practice
You can work with postures in a way that can help you feel more grounded by changing your approach to them and your focus within them. For example, if you flow through Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) quickly, it will have a stimulating and energising effect. If you flow through the same series of postures slowly, holding each for several breaths while you focus on being steady, focused and calm, you will naturally start to take on those qualities.
5. Create A Daily Practice
Your yoga practice can become an anchor, something that keeps you connected as you fly around above it. Having a routine to your practice can have an incredibly grounding effect and in Sanskrit this is referred to as Sadhana. But Sadhana is more than just practicing yoga every day, it goes a little further and requires you to practice the same thing, whether it’s postures, pranayama, meditation or all 3, at the same time every day for a specified period of time. Let’s face it, if you can start each day with even 10 minutes of yoga, be it 9 rounds of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) or simply sitting cross legged and watching your breath at the nose tip, you are going to notice a difference and after a few weeks of this you should definitely feel a lot more grounded.
There are plenty more ways that yoga can help us feel more grounded and more balanced. If you have any tips of your own please feel free to share in the comments section below!