“Grounding” is a bit of a buzz-word that has been floating around the natural health community, yoga circles, and other healing spaces over the past few years. I have personally been working on becoming “more grounded”, as I am sure many of you can relate. Over the course of my own process, I have come to understand that the concept of grounding or being grounded is very much a fluid part of our ever-changing existence. It is not a state to be achieved, something to be checked off our list. Rather, it is a state that we flow in and out of regularly.
When I first started to engage with the concept of being grounded, it was quite a foreign concept… I tend to be more airy, mixed with a little bit of fire. I am much more interested in learning how to expand up into the spiritual, the conceptual, the thought-oriented realms than to ground down into the earth and the physical experience. Thus, learning how to become more grounded has been a process of much practice that has been a part of my daily (often momentary) focus for the past few years.
First Chakra Health
Any discussion about grounding must include mention of the root (or first) chakra. The root chakra is the energy center that connects our physical body to the earth and is located at the base of the spine (tip of tailbone or coccyx). For many, the root chakra does not have sufficient energy flowing to it or is carrying an excess of trapped energy.
To put it simply, the root chakra governs all things related to our survival and our right to be here and take up space in this world.
According to Anodea Judith in Eastern Body Western Mind, the first chakra is related to the following issues: roots, grounding, nourishment, trust, health, home, family, prosperity, and appropriate boundaries. Balance (or imbalance) in the root chakra directly impacts our ability to feel well grounded and comfortable in our bodies.
Here are some of my favorite ways to support my own, ever evolving, grounding practice.
I am talking about the physical roots here, things like root veggies (potatoes, beets, carrots) and the roots of medicinal plants (dandelion, burdock, astragalus). Eating more root vegetables and drinking herbal teas made from roots are both very grounding. All three roots mentioned above are tonic herbs and can be added to soups and broths as well.
Walking barefoot on the earth is a great way to ground the energy. Our feet physically connect us to the earth. Learning to feel your feet on the ground is a great place to begin grounding work. Simply practice bringing your breath and awareness to your bare feet as they contact the floor or earth beneath you. Can you sense the connection they have to the earth? If you don’t sense this connection at first, continue to spend a few minutes everyday with this practice to grow your connection over time. You may also look into having a few reflexology sessions, as this work focuses specifically on opening the nerve endings in the feet.
Receiving craniosacral therapy is an excellent way to work with balancing the root chakra due to its gentle balancing effects on the spine and sacrum. It is a great therapy for releasing or integrating trauma and opening our channel of connection (spine) from head to tail. Craniosacral therapy helps to release physical imbalances that may play a role in cutting off or trapping energy in the root chakra.
Meditation may seem counter intuitive here, but I find it to be quite grounding. For grounding purposes, I prefer a simple, breath oriented practice. Sit quietly on the ground for 3-15 minutes and simply observe your breathing. When the thoughts begin to rise, let them flow up and out, as if there is a thought fountain that starts at the sacrum and bubbles out the top of the head.