Feeling overwhelmed or anxious can be debilitating for our mental and physical health. Taking the time to practice simple grounding exercises can bring us back to the present moment and reconnect us to our inner peace and stability. Asana yoga is one of the most effective ways to ground ourselves, as it encourages us to bring awareness and presence to our body.
One of the most recognized and versatile yoga poses, Downward-Facing Dog stretches and strengthens the entire body while calming the nerves. Simply come into a tabletop position on your hands and knees, tuck your toes, and gently lift the hips. There should be a straight and diagonal line from the shoulders to the ankles, with the gaze looking towards the belly button. Keep your knees slightly bent and actively draw your shoulder blades in and down your back. Hold for at least five breaths, building up your strength as you go.
A classic yoga pose, the forward fold is a great way to stretch the back torso and release tight hamstrings. Start in a standing position and let your arms hang alongside your torso. Bend your knees slightly and begin to hinge forward from the hips, allowing your hands and arms to reach the ground. If possible, allow your fingers to touch the ground outside your feet and make sure your back remains straight. Hold for at least five breaths, releasing any tension in the neck and shoulders.
This pose invites a sense of serenity and helps you to deeply relax. Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position and then slowly move your hips back towards your heels, while keeping the toes together and your forehead resting on the ground. Relax your arms alongside your torso and press the back of your hands against the ground for added support. Make sure your shoulders are back, away from your ears. Remain here for several minutes, allowing yourself to be taken in by the stillness of the present moment.
The squat pose is one of the most grounding yoga poses and can be especially soothing and powerful when combined with deep breathing. The second the hips drop and the feet come off the ground, the full weight of the body is supported by the arms and legs. Whether your arms are touching the ground or in Anjali Mudra, remain here for at least five breaths, feeling both strong and completely at ease.
Grounding ourselves through yoga asana is a great way to restore balance and focus on the present. And while we all have days where we may feel scatterbrained and anxious, these poses can help bring us back to a grounded and steady space.