When first learning to meditate, after learning basic breathing practices, grounding and centering comes next. This practice is less of a physical one but more of a mental one. Personally, I use a variety of visualization techniques to ground and center myself and we will look at a few of them.
But what is grounding and centering? As we go through our normal day our minds are all over the place. Grounding brings out brain out of the ethereal space and brings us back to tangible thoughts. Centering gathers our focus and brings it inward for more introspection. While there are many ways to describe these two actions, they are often done together rather than as separate actions.
Centering oneself can be done just through focusing on the breath. This action itself brings your focus inward on your own body. One way I like to ground by itself is through growing roots. Yea, yea, I’m a plant person, we all know this. This can be done sitting or standing but if you are new to the practice I recommend sitting in case you lose your balance. Find a nice quiet space for your first few practices and breath to calm yourself.
Visualization: Imagine your body growing down into the earth, growing roots. Reach your mind down into the ground; feel the moist, cool soil and the energy of the earth drawing you deeper into it’s protective core. Feel your focus flowing through your body, down into the ground, collecting fresh energy, and back up into your body to replenish yourself. The earth is healing, regenerative, and strengthening. Allow this energy to continue to flow through you to heal and strengthen yourself as you continue to breathe.
You may chose to do this for 10-15 minutes each day. It is a great choice when you are taking a break at work near the end of the day to help keep you in your body to finish your daily tasks. So often we allow our minds to wander into ethereal space and we are unable to concentrate on the present. This practice will get easier with time and can help you meet your goals with less struggle.
A second method of grounding and centering is doing a body check in. This is one that I personally enjoy doing before going to bed at night. It is a good way to see how I am feeling and to pay attention to my body rather than all of the worries that are keeping me up at night. If you are more of a physical sensation person rather than visualization person this one may be more effective for you.
Begin by paying attention to your feet. How are your toes feeling? Your ankles? Pay attention to them for a few breaths and then move onto your calf muscles, then your knees, and so on going up your body. Check in with how each part of your body is feeling. Try to do this with out judgement or expectations. This may open you up to pains you were mentally blocking. Accept your body for how it is and move onto the next part of your body. This method of centering oneself is quite relaxing and you may notice tingling in your hands feet as you move your attention away from them. Allow yourself to relax for a while and just breathe when you are complete if you plan to continue your day rather than going to sleep.
I hope you have enjoyed these two methods for grounding and centering. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for fast access to our twice a week posts on herbs (Tuesday) and wellness (Thursday). For more personalized support with wellness, breathing, meditation, and stress relief consider purchasing our book A Beginner’s Guide to Wellness or sign up for a personalized consultation with one of our Professional Herbalists and Wellness Practitioners.