Finding Your Ground: 10 Practices on Grounding
This week in my yoga classes I am working with the theme of grounding. This is an important concept as we move into a season that holds many Vata qualities, especially if we are someone like myself, who according to Ayurveda is classified as primarily Vata. Vata holds the qualities of being airy and movement orientated, light, cold, rough, dry, and subtle. This pretty much fits the description of Winter! In order to balance out these qualities one needs to engage in practices that are the opposites and more Kapha oriented. This may mean slowing down in life a bit and finding what calms and soothes us.
This is something that can be particularly difficult as we step into the holiday season with the hustle and bustle of entertaining, cooking, parties, and celebrations. There is so much activity going on around us that stepping into the silence can be a challenge. I actually live across the street from a major shopping mall and I can virtually feel the energetic difference during this time of year. It can be unnerving. While the beauty of the decorations and lights as well as time with family and friends is enjoyable I quite honestly could do without all the sales screaming at me and the abundance of people buying things that they don’t really need. I can’t count the number of e-mails that come through my inbox, each deal, each offering, the next best sale and trying to convince me to buy more and more!
All of this energy can leave me feeling pretty frazzled and it makes it hard to focus on what I really need to get done. As I’ve mentioned before in the past year I’ve discovered so many passions that the flood of it all can be overwhelming. The bucket list has grown, and while I want to do it ALL right now I know that I can’t. In stepping into life and real recovery I’ve found that even the day to day things in leading a full life really take up so much time. Work, play, friends, relationships, family, myself, dogs…it adds up and alas there is only 24 hours in a day. Can I please have just a couple more? Maybe life really was “easier” when I was fully enmeshed in my eating disorder. It made everything pretty simple.
I don’t want simple anymore.
It would be easy to fall into the flight of the season and forget about holding my ground, but this would be unhealthy. I need to recognize when I need that time out and cultivate practices the calm, soothe, and reinvigorate me to move on.
10 Grounding Practices
1. Take a warm bath and really feel the water on your skin, the scent of the soap. Be in the moment.
2. Talk a slow walk (yes even in the cold!). Leave the phone at home and feel your feet on the ground, perhaps the crunch of the snow. Even the cool air can make you feel alive.
3. Read a book without any distractions. No TV, no music, no phone, no computer.
4. Meditate. There are so many ways to do this. Find what resonates with you.
5. Dance like nobody is watching.
6. Enjoy a short midday nap.
7. Make a fabulous meal…all for yourself.
8. Make a list of what you are thankful for in your life.
9. Look at yourself in the mirror. Say “I AM HERE.”
10. Practice deep breathing or other Pranayama exercises.
Photos: dogs.icanhascheezburger.com, smc.edu, ayurvedaprograms.blogspot.com