When we’re not grounded, we’re unstable, we fly off the handle, we daydream in a fantasy world. Our attention is constantly wandering. Without grounding we lose our course.
Grounding helps us to feel connection rather than isolation. It allows us to be useful, peaceful, and easeful in the present moment. Yoga can help us to get to this place. Here are some great poses to get you started.
1. Knee-to-Chest Pose
Release your back down to the mat. As you exhale, draw your knees into the chest while keeping your back flat on your mat. Feel the back body releasing into the mat as you hug the knees tighter into the chest. Breathe deeply into hips and feel them opening a bit deeper with each breath. Feel the mat beneath you, holding up your entire body.
2. Full Wheel
Come to your back. Bend the knees and place your feet as close to your seat as possible. Place the hands by the ears with the fingertips pointing toward your body. Exhale all the air and inhale to extend the front of the body and the legs, lifting into full wheel. (See picture to the right.) With every breath, release the hands and the feet deeper into the ground beneath. At the same time, feel the chest, heart, and shoulders opening a bit deeper.
3. Full Locust
Begin lying on your stomach with your arms at your sides. Rest your forehead or your chin on the mat. Notice any tension in the body, especially in the jaw, and release it. As your exhale, lift the chest and arms, keeping the arms alongside the body. Widen the collarbones and keep the chest lifted. Hold for 5-10 breaths and release back down to the mat.
4. Mountain Pose
Mountain pose is the ultimate grounding posture. Balance the weight of the body to all four corners of the feet. Spread the toes. Send the shoulders up, back, and down the back body. Close the eyes and hold for five breaths, feeling strong and tall in mountain pose.
5. Standing Forward Bend
Ease the monkey mind in standing forward bend. When you're not grounded down, you're much more likely to be filled with anxious thoughts. Fold forward and let the weight of the head open all the muscles along the spine as well as the shoulders. Close the eyes and breathe.
6. Warrior 2
Stand with the feet a leg's length apart. Turn the right foot out and turn the left foot toward the side of the mat. Bend the right knee so it's directly over the ankle. Lift the trunk of the body directly over the legs and extend the arms alongside the legs, directly in front and behind you. Face towards your front arm. Hold for 5 breaths and then switch sides.
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