What does it mean to be grounded?

footprints in the sand

It’s one of the words I use frequently in my yoga teaching, and I know what it means to me, but wasn’t sure that everyone would think of it in the same way. When I looked it up in the dictionary, it hadn’t really struck me that it has some negative meanings, such as a plane being grounded because of bad weather, or being kept inside as a punishment.

I associate it with more positive qualities, such as stability, security and being in touch with reality. Another of the dictionary definitions is “mentally and emotionally stable : admirably sensible, realistic, and unpretentious.”

I started thinking about some of the expressions we use: they’ve got their feet on the ground, meaning someone is practical. Or they’ve got their head in the clouds, meaning the opposite, that someone is a dreamer. If your feet don’t touch the ground, you might be caught up in the excitement of something, not really appreciating the moment. Or plodding along, meaning that you’re in a bit of a rut, feeling heavy and lethargic.

Maybe you recognise a tendancy towards one of these qualities in yourself? The practical one or the dreamer? One isn’t better than the other – we need a mix of both and yoga helps us to find a balance between them.  This time of year is often associated with new beginnings at school and university, excitement, anxiety and rushing around, so a focus on grounding can help to restore that balance. Pause, breathe and connect with the ground beneath you.

We’ll be practicing the lovely Dru earth sequence, Prithvi Namaskara, that helps you keep your feet firmly on the ground, creating stability and security.