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Grounding Practices

This is a short list of grounding practices that I've begun to gather. I encourage you to add some of your favorites in the comments section below.

For all of these practices, it is best to find a quiet space where you can be comfortable for a few minutes. I invite you to practice them all and notice how you feel in your body so that you know what might work best in your yoga practice on and off the mat.

  • Find your center - notice how you are standing or sitting and see if you can align your ribs over your pelvis and your skull over your ribs. If sitting, you can slowly rock in circles making them smaller and smaller until you find the center of your sitz bones.

  • Orient to the room - Slowly look to your left. Notice the colors, shadows, and shapes. Return your gaze to center. Pause. Slowly look to your right. Notice your breath, your jaw, your shoulders. Return your gaze to center.

  • 3-part breath / Yogic breath / Deergha Swasam - As you inhale, allow the breath to expand your abdomen and fill your lower ribs, the sides of your ribs, and then space underneath your collar bone. Exhale fully, releasing your breath slowly. Repeat this for several breaths, noticing the full, three-dimensional expanse of your torso as you inhale and releasing completely on the exhale.

  • Feel your feet on the earth. Notice how your toes land. Feel your big toe mound, pinky toe mound, and heel. Notice the temperature and texture of the support underneath you.

  • Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your stomach to feel your heart beat and the rise and fall of your breath

  • Bellows breath - While laying on your back begin the 3-part breath. Bring your knees to your chest and your hands to your knees. As you inhale, allow your abdomen to soften and expand while extending your knees away from you. As you exhale, release the breath fully and draw your knees back into your chest. Repeat for several breaths

From My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem

  • Hum or Buzz - either a low even tone or a song with a simple melody

  • Slow Rocking - This can be done standing or sitting, side to side or forward and back, to music or not to music, but always slowly

  • Rubbing your Belly - Press your palm gently into the center of your abdomen then begin to rub your belly in whatever direction feels good to you. This can also be done over your heart or at your solar plexus.

  • 20s - Slowly rotate your foot at the ankle twenty times in either direction. Do this with each ankle then move up into other joints. Pause for ten seconds after each set of rotations

  • OM or chant - The vibration of the word om and chanting in general have a settling effect on the body. To OM, take in a full inhale and as you exhale slowly say om (aaaah-oooh-uummmm)

  • Singing aloud to yourself

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