This is particularly useful in times of stress and anxiety Sometimes, when I have a lot going on in my life, I begin to feel a strange sensation, as though I’m in a hot-air balloon that’s become untethered and starts to lift and float aimlessly away, as the fire under it heats up. This is a meditation that I do when I’m so busy that I feel myself drifting and becoming uprooted and, ultimately, unsafe.
You can also try this as a practice of mindful movement, linking your breath to actual steps when walking very slowly around your home and, with each step, feeling gravity pull and hold you close to the floor, grounding yourself.
Find a quiet place, with no distractions or anyone needing your attention. This is your time. Place a yoga mat or blanket on the ground. Go outside, if you can, and pick some leaves or flowers to scatter around you. Feel a sense of gratitude and of ahimsa (non-violence), picking the plants with love and thankfulness that you are using nature’s beauty to heal yourself. You could also pick up some pretty pebbles or stones or, if you have crystals, bring them into your space. Even a houseplant will work. The idea is to help you connect with nature, to bring the feeling of rooting and grounding into your mind, as you place some of the earth’s bounty around your space.
Now find a scent which will help ground you to your place on this earth. I love
the cleansing smoke of burning Palo Santo wood, as well as the earthy scent of patchouli, which I sometimes dab on the corners of my yoga mat or place in
an essential-oil burner. Remind yourself of your intention to reconnect with the earth.
Sit or lie on your yoga mat or blanket. Set a timer for 5 minutes or longer if you wish. Close your eyes or, if you feel particularly untethered, keep them open and gaze softly at your physical space.
Begin to bring your awareness to the points at which your body meets the
ground. Feel the heaviness of your body as you find that connection. Can you begin to sense the pull of gravity, contemplating how it holds and secures
you to where you are?
Now imagine roots beginning to grow down into the ground from your body,
from every point at which your body meets the earth, growing deeper and stronger. Feel that tethering to the earth through these ‘roots’, holding you securely and safely in this sacred spot.
Now bring your awareness to your breath – your constant anchor that is always with you, always accessible, a gateway for you to connect mind and body. Find
a steady pace, slowing your breath to the count of 4 on each inhale and exhale, breathing into the depths of your belly, rooting your breath deep down into your body and breathing into the ‘roots’ you have just set down.
When 5 minutes, or longer, are up, come back to your body very slowly by wiggling your fingers and toes, then rolling onto your right side. Sit up and bring yourself out of the meditation with huge tenderness. Try to keep breathing slowly and deeply as you go into the rest of your day, knowing you can come back to this meditation whenever you wish.