We all speak of grounding – we seem to know when we need it – or lack it – but what is it?
Ayurveda says that grounding is balancing the earth and water elements in the body as they act in opposition to the air and space elements. When we think of the five elements – we must think of them on many levels – subtle to more gross or obvious.
Use a visualization to understand the concept.
Envision the limitless nature of space. Now imagine the currents of air rushing through it in all directions. Feel the lightness? The expansiveness? You can imagine yourself as riding on the currents of air. Or imagine the currents of air as your thoughts – bounding along unencumbered by form or boundaries. The energetic combination is light, fast, expansive, spreading in all directions.
Now envision the flow of water through a canyon. Feel its weight and sense of direction as the contours of the earth flow it along. Feel the friction of the water against the earth. They shape each other. Together they have limits, boundaries. The combination of the energies is heavy, dense and while it is flowing – it is less expansive – more regular and defined.
In the human body we experience the burn of summer – these light and expansive energies, combined with heat – as pitta dosha in the body. The summer takes us places! And in Wisconsin we especially find the summer expansive due to the prolonged heaviness of winter. As humans we burn brightly in the summer. Our schedules tend to change. We have more hours in the day, increase activities, shed our regular schedules and “go with the flow.” We literally transform ourselves. This is the nature of pitta.
But as the summer winds down I always begin to feel a bit too light – too fast – too irregular. The fire has burned long enough and I long for the kids to go back to school – to quit doing so much – and start grounding. This is a natural instinct as we seek to transition for the hot season of pitta to the cold season of vata. The two energies share many of the same characteristics. As we enter the vata season in late September and early October we feel the fire element back away and the space and air elements increase. The natural balance is to ground ourselves.
So how to ground? Simply cultivate awareness of the earth and water elements.
Routine – recover your routines that may have been cast aside in the summer. Restart the regularity, predictability in your life. Try to eat, exercise and sleep on a timed cycle.
Eat – Eat what the farmers are bringing in. Soon it will be roots. Enjoy the seasonal fruits and vegetables. Increase the oil content of your food. Eat on schedule. Reduce the amount of raw veggies.
Exercise – Try choosing activities with more stability. Strength exercise is more grounding than cardio movement based exercise. Walking is more grounding than running.
Yoga – focus the yoga practice on the feet and legs and emphasize seated postures. Slow down. Breathe with a bit more weight. Use a gaze that is focused downward more than upward.
Bodywork – come in to Puja and get an abhyanga oil massage. This traditional oil application is a key to balancing vata in the body and mind. It literally makes you feel grounded. Or – do a daily oil massage on yourself. We have a great selection of oils for application to the body.
While vata season is not fully on us for several more weeks – we can and should start now. If you are like me – you are feeling that urge to ground already.
One way to successfully transition through the seasons with a sense of grace and purpose is by seeing an ayurvedic practitioner for advice. If you are an existing Puja Wellness client call for a special follow-up appointment to discuss your current state of health and how to transition successfully to the vata season.
If you have never seen an ayurvedic practitioner – get started with a special package of 4 visits for $369 or 3 visits for $299. Our certified practitioners will do an in depth evaluation of your ayurvedic health and make recommendations for diet, lifestyle and herbal supplements to assist you on your journey.