3 Grounding Practices for Stress Relief

If you are feeling ungrounded, frenetic, uneasy, anxious, thinking or feeling too much, then these three grounding practices may be just what the yoga teacher ordered. They will help you to connect with your inner earth element, to help you feel embodied and present. This can increase your sense of calm, and bring you back into rhythm within body, mind, and spirit.

Bhu Mudra

My Roots run deep into the core of the Living Earth.

Root your “peace” fingers (pointer and middle fingers) into the ground, with your arms straight out to the sides as you sit on the floor—or press the peace fingers into the centers of your thighs.

Notice your natural breath, perhaps sensing it dropping down into your belly and pelvis to assist in rooting and grounding you.

Hold for five to 10 natural breaths to start, increasing over time if you like. State the affirmation three times out loud, then silently.

  • Connects you with your physical body and the Earth
  • Instills feelings of security, safety, and groundedness
  • Can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and frenetic energy
  • Good for balancing the elimination system

Tapotement: Repetitive Tapping on Body Parts

Tapotement is a bodywork method to awaken your connection to and awareness of your body, as well as to increase flows of energy, blood, and lymph throughout the body. Try this before you shower or bathe. It’s easy to do.

With cupped hands, tap each part of your body, starting with your feet and moving upward to the legs, torso, arms, neck, and head.

At the same time, make sure you look at the body part you are tapping, and mentally say the name of the body part (“This is my foot”) to increase neural, physical, mental, and energetic connection with each body part.

  • Increases embodiment and sense of presence
  • Stimulates local blood circulation
  • Revitalizes fatigued muscles and soft tissues

Mindful Walking with Mantra

Left foot: “In every step…”  

Right foot: “I am Here.”

Mindful walking can be practiced anytime you are walking! For example, you can do this as you walk from one room to another in your house; walk to the car; walk from the car to work or to the grocery store; and walk inside your workplace or the grocery store. You get the idea! The world is your monastery, your forest, your temple, and your place to practice at any and every moment.

  • Engages body and breath in movement together for sense of flow
  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, and can lower high blood pressure
  • Enhances body awareness and connection with the earth
  • Brings you into the present, peaceful moment

Begin with five to 10 natural steps, stating “In every step…” as you set your left foot down, and stating “I am Here,” as you set your right foot down. Increase the number of steps each day. The key is to remember to do it.

Find out about upcoming programs with Jennifer Reis at Kripalu.

This article originally appeared on Jennifer’s website. The mudras provided are modified from Mudras for Healing and Transformation by Joseph and Lilian Le Page.

Jennifer Reis, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, LMT, creator of Five Element Yoga® and Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra, is a faculty member for the Kripalu Schools of Yoga and Integrative Yoga Therapy.

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