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Grounding Yourself Fully


By Liz Rosenblum - 6/13/2013

Yoga - Conceptual
  Photo Credit: Markus Gann / Shutterstock.com

When is standing on two feet not just standing? When you're a yogi and it's grounding yourself.

Getting grounded is about more than just balancing on your two feet. It's about connecting yourself to the earth. Feeling the ground beneath you as you push down and it pushes up against you.

Getting grounded is the basis of a solid practice. It's often among the first things you do before any movement begins. It's a chance to get settled and create a foundation that will be carried throughout the practice.

To get grounded involves the four corners of the feet. Yes, four corners. Imagine your foot as if it were a rectangle with four corners:

  • The upper outside of the foot by the little toe
  • The big toe and ball of the foot
  • The inner back corner of the heel
  • The outer back part of the heel

In order to get grounded, the focus needs to be on all four corners.

Getting grounded starts with the feet but then extends up through the entire body.

Again, as your feet push down, imagine the earth pushing up. Think about how the legs, connecting at the hip joints, engaged to support the weight of the body with the feet, now solidly planted, serving as the base and a microbend in the knees so they don't lock. With legs engaged, there should be a slight inward rotation of the thighs. This subtle movement will help to create more space in the hips, vital for the next step in the journey towards grounding.

Continuing up the body, the focus now moves to the hips. This is where alignment becomes especially important. As mentioned, a very subtle inward rotation of the legs creates space for the tailbone to tuck under. Again, it's subtle. Not so much that the hips are pushing forward, but enough to continue to create a solid base for the upper half of the body.

With the hips in the proper formation, the rest should easily fall into place. Shoulders align over the hips. Here again is where a subtle movement tends to be ignored. It's not just about the shoulders, it's about the shoulder blades. They should move towards each other and down the back - as if they were creating a cradle for the back of the heart, allowing it to open and be fully expressed.

Arms will extend down, palms forward, with a slight engagement - not stiff but not hanging loosely either. Open to accept teachings and the practice.

Finally, hold the head high, with the crown of the head reaching for the sky.

More than the physical posture, getting grounded relates to the energy too. It creates a feeling of strength and power and allows energy to flow throughout the body from the feet up to the crown and back down again. Being grounded involves being both heavy and light at the same time, mentally and physically.

Getting grounded is a term that's often thrown about with little thought, but it serves as the basis for the entire practice. So before you begin, give some thought to getting grounded and you might just find you feel more connected to yourself and your practice.


 








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