Do you ever feel distracted, floaty, overwhelmed, or disconnected? Creating a stable, grounded, foundation is the first step in building a supportive yoga practice, dancing posture, and well-designed yet flexible life.
Whether I am teaching yoga, ballet, or dance, working with coaching clients, or setting up for success in my own day, week, or year, the first step is to create a solid foundation for all knowledge and skills to build upon. In fact, getting grounded was the topic of my very first podcast, even before I started this blog:
Serious Self Care
I find that yoga and meditation are key to my own sense of grounding and presence, and I have collected many practices, resources, and other sources of support.
Well-being is critical to the work of learning and growth, so please utilize all your resources of support to your physical and mental health. You ultimately determine which practices are right for you, so keep in mind that what I’m sharing here are just examples of practices that I enjoy in my work with my own coaches, clients, and students.
I am on this journey too and would love to hear about what you do to develop a grounded state of being on which you build a life you love!
Start on a Strong Foundation
My coaching & teaching process goes through stages, but like life it is not truly linear. Rather, the framework is more a step-by-step opening up of territory that then can be traversed freely, all stages benefiting from being regularly revisited whenever needed in the future.
In order to build a solid foundation, stage one in my process involves situating ourselves in a stable, rooted way, using those tools which help us as individuals to sense our connection to the earth, in the body (somatically), mind, and spirit. In this blog I suggest some ideas about fostering groundedness and stability, and I will be sure to offer others in the future as my own practice develops. My hope is that you will be inspired to explore what works best for you personally.
Once we reach this solid ground, we can build further structures of support for our creative journey, including centering around our purpose, orienting toward our vision, designing projects around our mission, and connecting with others in community.
Root Chakra & Correspondences
I personally enjoy working with correspondences, making connections between desired states and how to foster them. In terms of grounding, in yoga philosophy we speak about facilitating functioning of the Muladara or Root Chakra, associated with the legs and lower body, stability, survival, the element of earth, and the color red.
“When the root chakra is functioning optimally and is in healthy alignment, we have an inner sense of security, which manifests as clear thinking and good concentration, which allows us to set goals and prioritize and carry out tasks in order to achieve those goals. A healthy, balanced root chakra lends to a calm, steady, and graceful energy that we can harness to remain grounded yet flexible during transitional periods, and to be resourceful and courageous during more challenging times.” (_Chakras and Self Care_ p.30)
- Grounding Stones to play with if you enjoy such things and have access: Bloodstone, Hematite, Smoky Quartz, Red Tiger’s Eye, Garnet (_Chakras and Self Care_ p.31)
- Grounding Oils to play with if you like: Lavender, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Patchouli
- Affirmations: “I am,” “I am my Essence,” “I trust in the process,” “I nurture myself and life nurtures me”
This brief meditation is a repeatable practice to bring a sense of stability, mindfulness, and relaxation into your life, developing a solid foundation for better performance and enjoyment of the present moment.
- Get situated as comfortably as possible sitting on the floor, a cushion, or chair. Creating a strong sense of foundation (you may also practice standing if you prefer, and focus on contact between your feet and the floor), close or softly focus your eyes.
- Bring your attention to your seat (or feet), your sit-bones as they reach toward the surface below you and the stable triangle of contact between your pelvis, legs, feet and the earth. Feel your connection and how gravity is drawing you near to the mass of the earth.
- Feel yourself sending energetic roots down, and the earth pressing up, sending your head up and creating length and space in your spine with as little effort as possible. Allow your palms to root down onto your thighs or knees, arms hanging loosely from the shoulders, head resting level on the neck.
- Take any mindful, organic movements that you need in the moment, such as gentle head, shoulder, ribcage, or wrist circles or easy stretches. Align your body so your natural architecture rests onto the foundation below.
- Once you are in an easy, stable, well-rooted position, bring your attention to the flow of your breath. Visualize your breath as coming up from the center of the Earth, through your roots beneath the surface of the ground you are on, and finally entering through your body as you inhale.
- As you exhale, visualize your breath flooding your body and then going down to your seat or the soles of your feet, into the roots beneath the ground, and deep into Earth’s core.
- Continue to visualize your connection to the Earth below, your breath traveling through you and your support, and silently affirm, “I am grounded, I am stable, I am safe.”
- Repeat for as many breath cycles as desired or you have time for, then gently re-enter your space, open your eyes, and bring this sense of earthy, stable groundedness into the rest of your day or evening.
For more on developing your own meditation practice, you may wish to refer to my 2021 Meditation Practice Challenge Blog, and I also created audio and video of a more extended (43 minute) Yoga Nidra visualization practice.
Grounded in Essence
In my coaching work, we build a foundation in many ways, one of which is our timeless, unconditional Essence, which we distinguish through the Essence Exercise. This helps us know what we can be counted on to “bring to the party of life” in every moment and it fuels all of our work.
Other foundational coaching tools we may use include identifying the functioning of our Survival Mechanism, tracking healthy habits, developing Self-Care and Leader-Care Checklists, and Acknowledgement amongst others.
Curious to see what this looks like in a coaching context and how it might benefit you as you navigate the current changes in your life? Then schedule a Discovery Call with me and experience the process firsthand!
Reflecting on Rootedness
How’s your own sense of stability and grounding? It may be instructive to talk with a coach or confidante or write in your journal about these or other Questions for Reflection:
- What are the foundations of your life? How stable are they?
- How secure do you feel about your home life, work life, and finances?
- How do you deal with change?
- Do you feel you deserve what you want in life?
- Do you feel supported in manifesting your goals? By whom/what?
Accomplishment Coaching Coaches Training Program
Teacher Training with yogaloft
Teaching People Not Poses: 12 Principles for Teaching Yoga with Integrity by Jay Fields
Chakras & Self-Care: Activate the Healing Power of Chakras with Everyday Rituals by Ambi Kavanagh and Poppy Jamie
Blythe Stephens, MFA & Bliss Catalyst
she/her or they/them
Creator of A Blythe Coach @ablythecoach
helping multi-passionate creatives dance through their difficulties,
taking leaps of faith into fulfillment through coaching, yoga & dance education
DISCLAIMER: A Blythe Coach recommends that you consult your physician regarding the applicability of any recommendations and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself.