185: Ground Control

stormThe after effects of one of Wellington’s biggest storms in many years is showing itself. Roads are ripped up, trees up-rooted and houses have lost their roofs. As the rain continues more trees start to slide down hills and on to roads as if the earth has lost it’s hold on its residents. Mother Earth has quite simply had a hissy fit and thrown all her toys screaming, ‘look at me!’. There is something a little unsettling when the great earth does this. When there is no longer stability and what you thought was stable no longer wants to play the game.

In yoga we talk about stability and grounding. Grounding is when we cue students to be connected to the earth below them. We invite them to spread their hands wide and press into the earth to feel a connection to the solid foundation below them. We teach students how to build their pose from the ground up. How to work the feet and legs to garner maximum stability in the pose. This ground control also helps students to connect more to their body and come a little out of their heads. When you are connected to your physical body, i.e you feel its presence, then you are less in story mode and everything is exactly how it is.

Some students are in a wee hurry to get to the apex though. They lunge into the pose and fling their arms in the air, forgetting to build a strong foundation. They can then become unbalanced and topple or in their hurry preempt what is coming up and go to a completely different pose. I know because I used to be one of those.

In the bible it says ‘build you house on solid rock’. When we attend to the exterior only and forget to take time for the foundations we are no longer grounded. Whatever you do in this world we need to start with the basics, move slowly and considerately and make a firm base. When we become disconnected from the grounding effects of nature we can become unstable physically, mentally and emotionally.

Practice for today: Do you have an area of your life that seems unstable, flimsy or liable for collapse? Is there a way that you can rebuild that from the ground up? Take a walk in nature in bare feet and feel the earth below you and between your toes. Mother Earth will be there to support you and help you with the answers to rebuild what it is you need to.

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