Monday, March 30, 2009

Let's Ground

I like to start my yoga practice with grounding. I also like to start each class I teach with grounding. I actually tend to put a lot of focus on it. I think we tend to spend a lot of time disconnected and the act of grounding helps bring us back to the present moment. I mean, how often are we thinking about what to make for dinner when driving to work, or how many phone calls or emails we need to return, or have our minds racing with mental to-do lists while we brush our teeth before bed?

So I like to ground. I like to connect. I like to take time out to 'be' instead of 'do.' I've recently started to see grounding have another positive impact. With the economy being unsteady and people constantly concerned about job stability and financial security it's really a good thing to make time to center and ground. We tend to define ourselves by what we 'do'. And to prove this, just think about what you would say to someone if they asked you about yourself. Most people would say "I'm a teacher" or "I run a business" or "I'm a writer." And while these are wonderful things, they are also things that can change. They aren't constant. This used to cause me immense stress. I always used to define myself by what I did. I was a runner, an exec, a writer, a reader... etc. But guess what? When it got cold outside I wasn't a runner anymore. When I switched careers I wasn't an exec anymore. When I got too busy to write, I wasn't a writer anymore... I was so disconnected from who I was that it left me aggitated and confused. I was just kind of floating from thing to thing and defined myself by things that weren't constant.

People tend to attach to the ever-changing. And now is as good a time as any to see that. Jobs are changing, money is changing, lifestyles are changing... but that doesn't mean that you are changing. Because who you are is so much deeper than what you do.

So if things tend to get a little chaotic around you or stress levels seem at an all time high, take a moment to ground. You can do it when you first wake up in the morning or right before bed... whenever you find some spare time. Sit with your eyes closed in a comfortable position. Allow your spine to straighten and your shoulders to roll back. Allow your breath to slow and relax you and take time to focus on the moment. Take notice of your body and your mind and how it feels to just 'be' rather than just 'do.' Staying centered when you feel like nothing else is can help alleviate stress and anxiety and help you feel strong.

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