You know that fleeting uncomfortable, disconcerting feeling after you’ve been in the air for hours and find yourself in a different time zone?
I’ve had that this month as I’ve been traveling on the road and in the air for work (and play).
We don’t have to be flying in the sky to feel un-grounded though. Spending too much time in the mind, worrying, working on an assignment or brainstorming on a new idea will do it. The trick is to bring our energies down to our hara, or the sacral chakra, our centre of balance and life energy.
Our ability to stay grounded gives us the foundation to reach for the skies (Tweet it)
Through this feeling of groundedness we’re able to do our best, most creative work and express our authentic self without inhibitions.
This week I want to share some of my favorite centering techniques with you that’ve helped me stay centered and grounded through the years and now help my clients navigate through their busy, hectic lives. Of course this is not comprehensive and I’d love to hear what grounds you when you’re feeling off.
Eat root vegetables
Vegetables which grow in the ground provide heartier, more sustainable energy than lighter foods like leafy greens and fruits. So whenever you’re feeling un-centered and off-center, reach out for foods that grow under or near the earth. Fall brings with an abundance of such vegetables: sweet potatos, beets, parsnips, carrots squashes, pumpkins. Add them to your diet and feel yourself falling into your center.
Work with your breath
Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose. Exhale through your mouth, like a deep sigh and push out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. Don’t stop exhaling till all the air has escaped your lungs. Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
Massage your belly
Try this Ayurvedic ritual before bedtime. You will need: sesame or coconut oil, a hand towel (that you can dedicate to this ritual), a hot water bottle (optional). warm the oil slightly, lie on your back, slightly inclined forward, rub your belly with the oil in circular motion for 5-10 minutes (or get your partner to do it for you), once you’re done, place the towel on your belly and the hot water bottle on top of it. This will retain the heat from the oil and give you additional warmth externally. Sleep 🙂
Connect to your hara with humming
Humming techniques are used commonly amongst tibetan monks to deepen their meditative practice. Try this simple humming technique for five to ten minutes.
Sit with your back straight. Support your back if required. Close your eyes and with your mouth closed, focus on your navel and start humming. Hum at any pitch you want. Imagine your body to be like an empty (vessel) reverberating with the vibration of your humming. Slowly allow this vibration to spread to your entire body.
Walk barefoot on grass
This is another Ayurvedic tip often recommended to recover from jetlag. Walking and feeling the earth immediately grounds us. Walking barefoot on grass gives us the additional benefit of acupressure, as the uneven earth massages different points in our foot and balances our internal organs. If you don’t have grass around, just walk barefoot on concrete. Connecting with mama earth is they key.
None of these take more than five to ten minutes but their effects can be felt immediately: a sense of calm groundedness that allows us to function with clarity and confidence.
Which of these techniques resonate with you? What would you add to this list?