Stay Grounded Through Yoga and Ayurveda
"Be like a tree. Stay grounded. Connect with your roots. Turn over a new leaf. Bend before your break. Enjoy your unique natural beauty. Keep growing"
~ Joanne Raptis
What does it mean to be grounded? It means to get out of our thinking mind and into our feeling physical body. Where we feel is where we heal. The easiest way to do this is through the breath. When we bring our mind into our breath, and our breath into our body, we become present. Grounding ourselves in the solid foundation of the reality of what is.
Ayurveda recognizes that the 5 elements make up everything around us and within us. The element of earth contains the other elements of water, fire, air and space (ether). It's qualities are cool, stable, heavy, gross and dense. In our body, earth emerges as growth, accumulation and supports our container, giving structure and stability to our bones, muscles and fat.
When you express a healthy connection to earth element, you feel stable, rooted, calm and centered. Emotionally you are grounded and confident, but flexible. You make well-considered decisions and do not waver in carrying them out.
If you experience worry, anxiety, overwhelm, insomnia, difficulty thinking clearly or live in fear, struggling to move forward, you are depleted of the earth element. This can also affect your physical body. Issues in the legs, low back, knees, or feet reflect this. These are the parts of the body that hold us up, support us and literally help us put one foot in front of the other.
By working with the elements in your yoga practice, you can “purify” them. This means that they are able to do their job to support your health in the way they are each best able to. To increase stability and the earth element, yin or slow flow practices are ideal. Forward folds, grounding through the feet and balance poses help to invite more earth energy in your practice, like our featured practice online this week.
Ayurvedic tips to balance the earth element: have a consistent, regular routine including meditation, yoga and pranayama, a regular bedtime and meal times, eat whole foods that are grounding, like root vegetables, and take time to slow down and pause each day. Stop overscheduling yourself, take your shoes off, walk in nature and nurture yourself lovingly with self care. Start living from a place of faith and trust that life works out the way it supposed to.