Tag Archives: grounded

Lost? Go to your base.

yoga womanLast year when I was on a weeklong women’s retreat at Spirit Rock I had the good fortune to take yoga classes from Mary Pafford. I went to the retreat in a grumbly mood, blaming perimenopause or whatever, and once there in my own private silent space I decided to indulge it. But I simply couldn’t maintain it after the first day, after Mary’s yoga class.

Her class got me back into my glorious body. Among other things, Mary teaches how to get into contact with your perineum. Brilliant! She teaches that women’s wisdom can come from deep within, deep down, way down, and so my dark attitude began to fade as I reconnected to this depth in myself through Mary’s playful example.

So, with her permission, here is what yoga teacher Mary Pafford says about going to your base, an excerpt from a longer piece titled “Periwinkle Ahoy! Tales of drought, overwhelm, and perineums.” I think you’ll benefit from her words of wisdom, especially in times of uncertainty and unease.

GATEWAY AND BANDHA

GATEWAY TO THE EARTH by Mary Pafford

This is where the perineum can be helpful. “When you don’t know where to go, go to the base.” A refrain in many of my classes. This is your internal GPS. When trauma arises we often close this area down, rather like an animal fearfully drawing its tail under and in. A temporary protection but many of us are walking around the universe with our tails drawn in as a permanent state of being. Or we have absolutely no connection to this area at all. There’s the taboo associated with sexuality and excretion and we just don’t want to go there. Beyond our own physical body, we have lost our way of being in touch with the world.

Consider the perineum not as a floor as its often called, but a sacred membrane and the way that we communicate on a deeper level with the earth, with our true nature. By simply being in contact, breathing here, one finds a sense of ground. Notice this when you are in transition or in some way threatened or overwhelmed. How helpful it is to just exist in the perineum, not contracting or tucking, just trusting the earth beneath and within you. “When you don’t know where to go, go to the base.” 
 
MULABANDHA

In the yoga world, some teachers encourage a strong engagement of the perineal muscles to draw the energy up and away from the earth to the heavens to cultivate Mulabandha. In this way, abandoning our human beingness ~ earthiness in the pursuit of “higher selves” ~ a new age type of refrain. If you listen to this little clip from Richard Freeman, you will see that this isn’t necessarily the most illuminating way to approach the pelvic floor… or life!

Richard suggests that the Goddess needs to be invited and cannot be forced, thus cultivating relationship rather than a practice of control, attainment, and separation from the mud of being. Can one root through the bones of the base of the pelvis and invite the rebound? The earth deities rise up and support life in the same way that we tend to the earth and this merges and supports our spiritual aspirations as many indigenous traditions encourage. In many of these traditions the earth is spirit – there is no separate word for spirituality.

7 Ways to Get Grounded (& Why It’s Important)

groundingIn a state of ungroundedness you can be easily influenced by others, experience injuries and accidents, foggy thinking, and emotional states like anxiety, worry, and irritability.

Once when I was ungrounded, I stepped right off a curb I didn’t know was coming and sprained my ankle. Another time, I fell off a 2″ high doormat which brought me surprisingly and suddenly to the ground, spraining the same ankle. (Yes, a 2″ high doormat that said “Peace” on it.)

Yet another time, in a truly ungrounded state, I fainted flat to the ground and still have the scar on my face to show for it. There have been others too, falls and stumbles that have shown me when my thoughts (and energy field) have floated into another realm and are not with the earth.

As a result, don’t you agree I’m uniquely qualified to discuss how to get grounded and the reasons why it’s important? As a psychically sensitive person, I’ve often had my awareness somewhere else. Over time, I’ve had to learn how to remain earthbound. Besides the falls, bloodied face, skinned knees, and sprained body parts, I was born with half of my birth chart planets in earth signs and zero in air. Astrology-minded readers will understand I was meant to be earthbound in this life despite my tendencies otherwise.

Now let’s talk about how to get grounded!

The first step is to pay attention to your physical body.

How does the chair feel that you are sitting in?
What do your feet feel like?
Are you ignoring any physical signs or symptoms? For example, are you thirsty?
Do you have pain or tightness in your body? An anxious feeling? By the way, most cases of anxiety I see in my practice are nothing more than a mental and energetic disconnect from the body.

Next, notice your breathing. This will bring you to a deeper awareness of your body.

Follow your breath.
Bring breath into your belly.
Slow it down.
Lengthen your breath.

Be aware of the subtle changes in nature.

Notice the weather.
What is happening in your natural environment?
Feel the breeze.
Watch the sunset.
Smell the earth’s scents.
Note how the sun feels.
Watch the trees lose leaves or change into their winter state.
Listen to sounds.
Return frequently to notice your own breathing and the weight of your body on the surface you’re sitting or standing on.

Connect with the earth.

Stand or sit for a few minutes with your bare feet on the earth. Scientific evidence shows that the earth balances your energy field. But you don’t need proof from science when you can just do it and see for yourself. Those of you in cold climates, visualize it. Imagine yourself as a big healthy tree with deep roots going into the earth. Check out more reasons to connect with the earth.

Eat earthy food

Hearty meals tend to be grounding: meats and root vegetables especially.

Stop, Feel, Listen, Notice

And finally, if you’re still needing some assistance, have an energy healing session with Dr. Christina Grant. I hear she’s had a lot of experience with it…