This time of year can often feel a little frantic and unrooted. There’s seemingly lots to get done before the end of the year and lots of things to plan. And even though the festive period is going to be different this year there is a different feeling of being ungrounded to normal.
So how can we rectify that?
Grounding is really just another way of describing being truly present in the moment so here’s some tips for how to do just that
Tips for grounding
- Get outside into nature – whether it be the garden, a local park or a walk in the woods, take a moment to get outside. If you’re brave enough then maybe even take your shoes off and wiggle your toes in the grass or get muddy
- Tune into your breath – softly focus on something or close your eyes and tune into the path of your breath. If it is comfortable for you begin to lengthen the exhale so it is longer than your inhale
- Feel your feet on the ground – either purely tune into the feeling of your feet resting into the ground or take it a little further by standing up, closing your eyes and shifting your weight around so that you can truly feel the whole foot in contact with the floor
- Stretch and move your body
- Put a beautiful piece of music on and truly listen to it. Stop doing everything else and purely be in the moment
Restorative Yoga for Grounding
Restorative yoga can be a really lovely practice for grounding but there is a small caveat. If you are feeling particularly anxious or your energy is quite high then some gentle movement prior to getting still in some postures would be better than going straight in to those longer restful holds.
As ever with yoga it is important to listen to your body and take the time to explore the posture suggested so that it is actually comfortable for you. As these postures are held for a little time please make sure you are cosy and warm. This is definitely a time for big socks and cosy jumpers. Maybe even a candle!
Restorative Childs Pose
- Blocks or large books
- Blanket (optional)
1. Prop your bolster up on blocks at one end and kneel at the other end.
2. A rolled blanket can be put under the ankles to make them more comfortable. A blanket wrapped around the back will also keep you cosy.
3. As you lay the torso down onto the bolster take your time to ensure you are comfortable and supported. Let the arms lay where ever feels best
- Blocks or large books
1. Prop your bolster up on a couple of blocks and sit sideways at the opposite end of it with your hip relatively close to the end
2. Bend the leg closest to the bolster so that the lower leg is roughly parallel to the end of your mat. The opposite leg also bends so that the knee is close to the lower foot
3. Gently lay your torso down onto the bolster, trying to lay the chest flat so there is some rotation in the lower back
4. Let the arms rest either side of the bolster and the side of the head rest down
Constructive Rest Pose
- Blocks or large books
- Two Eye Pillows (optional)
1. Prop your bolster on as many blocks as you like at one end of your mat
2. Sit at the lower end of the bolster and lay your back down on it. Bend the knees and take the feet about mat width apart
3. The heels can be as close to the bottom as is comfortable. Letting the knees drop in together can help to broaden the lower back
4. Let the arms rest to the side of you, with a soft bend in the elbows. Weighting the hands with an eye pillow is a really lovely addition to help the arms and hands relax
Putting these together in a practice
Practicing these three postures together in a sequence is a really lovely way to slow down and tune into the body and the breath. Restorative yoga is often one of the trickiest practices as stillness is the name of the game. It can be very easy to become distracted or to treat ourselves unkindly when the mind wanders. Try to treat yourself with compassion and go with the flow in the postures, see what comes up and then guide yourself back to the breath. If you fancy being guided through this practice rather than practicing by yourself then you’ll find these three postures in this recorded class from the Yogipod Class Library.
A playlist to get you in the mood
Just the right length to go with the practice above or to pop on when you want a little bit of space. Chilled piano, beats and voice to slow down and observe your body, the space around you and your breath to.
I really hope these tips help. The main thing I think for this year is to take the festive period slowly, make sure you have plans to speak to those you love even if you can’t see them in person and be kind to yourself. Rest when you need to. Laugh when you need to. Definitely ground when you need to. And if in doubt get out into the mud and take a long breath in through your nose and out through your mouth