Grounding October

Grounding October

     The transition of autumn is in full swing. This means the start of the school year, a new set of seasonal activities, the holidays quickly approaching. Through all of this, the weather is still playing mind games with us as it can't make up it's mind either.⁠
  Amidst this chaos, it is important to stay grounded to be able to navigate all these changes. This month, we are going to explore some tried and true techniques that I use to stay grounded as well as some that I haven't tried, but sound interesting. Experiment for yourself and find what feels good for you in this season of change.⁠

 If you are at all familiar with the teachings of Ayurveda, then you know that sitting down with a hot cup of tea can be truly healing. For me, Ginger tea has become one of my favorite rituals as the seasons change. It helps to take the time to drink it mindfully and immerse yourself in this simple experience. Of course it doesn't have to be ginger tea, it can be any other kind you enjoy or feel drawn to. For me, the ginger helps to bring in the warmth that my body is searching for. If you are interested in learning more about Ayurveda and how this ritual can be used to help balance your Doshas, check out this simple starting explanation.⁠


There is so much more information out there about Ayurveda. You can even take a full certification course, so if you are just dipping your toes in, take it slow and try not to feel overwhelmed. It can be daunting to say the least. I am not "all in" with an Ayurvedic practice for medical reasons, but I am interested in learning more. Being able to pick and choose what is right for your unique body is one of the best things you can practice.

 Another grounding practice not associated with Asana is finding something to touch or hold onto and becoming immersed in the experience. Do you remember the fidget spinner craze? One of the reasons these little object are so appealing is they can also have a grounding effect.  When you allow yourself to focus on the sensations through your fingers, how they feel as they move, how they are weighted or textured, the grounding sets in. There are so many different kinds of these toys available now. You don't even need to buy something. A beautiful rock or anything that has a texture you enjoy becoming immersed in will work.

On the days when the weather is warmer during this transition, taking a mindful walk may be just the thing. You can spend the time focusing on what you see around you or maybe instead take your shoes off and walk in some grass feeling the ground beneath your feet. Either one will work and is a nice way to spend a work break.

If you are practicing Asana, here are a few different poses you can bring into your practice for grounding. There are honestly a lot more. I have just listed the ones that I use most often in my own practice.

Child pose - This shape can be a simple way to bring in a short practice as the weather shifts. Especially when you are feeling tired and not wanting to move very much. Allow yourself to focus on the sensations of your breath and on where the earth is supporting your body.

Warrior II  - This is strong, standing pose. Although it is asymmetrical, it is also very stable. Holding it for just a short period can help cultivate balance, strength and of course grounding energy.

Mountain Pose - Another simple pose, it literally looks like just standing. There can be so much more going on in the body. Connecting to the floor through the feet, engaging through the core and really the whole body, as well as creating space in the heart.

Chair Pose - I like to keep this one moving rather than just sinking in. Pay particular attention to the knees and keep them over the ankles as you sit the hips back. Sometimes I add a block between the knees to help keep this alignment. Your weight will be farther back than you think. Your toes may even start to pop up off the floor.

Tree Pose - If you have a hard time with balance, maybe use a wall or chair to hold onto. Another option is to keep the leg that is coming up low to the floor instead. That way you aren't really balancing on one leg completely. The key to feeling grounded in something like tree pose is to really focus on the sensations of stability and connection through your feet against the floor.


Enough about Asana, one of the simplest things you can do to ground is just focus on the breath. You can really be anywhere to do this one, just make sure your body is supported. You can allow yourself to focus on your breath the way it flows naturally, or you can try one of the Pranayama techniques I am about to mention. Do what works for you.

Square breathing - I think I have mentioned this one before. It is a simple idea. All it means is allowing your inhale, pause, exhale, pause to be all the same length. I like to start with a count of four until I settle in. Then start increasing the length gradually. Keeping all parts of the breath equal.

Nadi Shodhana - This one is actually my favorite Pranayama. If you have trouble focusing on just the breath, give this one a try. Known as alternate nostril breathing, it is exactly what it sounds like. There is of course a fancy way to hold your hand to block each nostril one at a time, but you don't even need to go that far to practice. My favorite way is actually to just use closed fist to signify the blocked side. So breathing in, closing a fist and breathing out... keeping it closed to breath is again and switching at the top to start the other side. You may notice once side has a bit more cooling energy and the other a bit more heat which is why I practice both. You can alsoplay with practicing just one side for a while and then switching to the other.

Dirgha Breath - This is also known as three part breath. The idea seems pretty simple, but sometimes it is a bit trickier in the body. The idea is to isolate three areas of the body that help you bring in a nice, full breath. First the belly, which really means allowing the diaphragm to expand to pull air deep into the lungs. Then expanding through the ribs filling the main parts of the lungs with air. Then, finally breathing into the upper chest.


These tools of Breath, Asana and other mindful grounding techniques make it possible to ride the waves of this transitional season with grace. It may not be easy, but at least we are ready for it.


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