Many of us have heard the term “ground yourself” or “root down”, especially if you’ve taken a yoga class or two. But what does it actually mean and what does it refer to? To ground yourself is to release all and any unwanted energy you’ve collected or stored in the body and mind into the earth by visualizing yourself growing actual physical roots sprouting from the base of your spine, at your root chakra, all the way down to the centre of the earth.
For those of you who are new to chakras and energy work, chakras are spinning vortices of energy stacked on top of one another, running from the base of your spine all the way to the crown of your head. The first chakra is the root chakra and it sits at the base of your spine. Its Sanskrit name is Muladhara, it is the colour red and listens for the sound of LAM (L-U-M). This particular chakra is responsible for your sense of security, stability, belonging and physical health. Some may argue that this is the most important chakra because without a healthy root chakra, it will be difficult to maximize your life’s potential. If you think of yourself as a tree, it would be very difficult to thrive, live or even stay up straight without a strong healthy rooting system, and that’s exactly what your first chakra is for you: your roots. Without a strong and open first chakra, the first storm to come along would uproot us.
A very simple grounding technique I use is visualization paired with breath. Sound simple enough? It is! Never underestimate the power of visualization paired with intentional breath. Intention alone is enough to activate your chakras, as they are always listening.
For this exercise it’s best to sit in a position where you can connect the base of your spine directly with the earth, but it works just as well if you are sitting in a chair, standing up or even if you’re flying on a plane. It’s the visualization that’s the most powerful part of this exercise. Start by visualizing the base of your spine and tailbone glowing a warm ruby red. Then envision a cord sprouting out and down from this area. This is your grounding cord. Your grounding cord can be anything you want it to be. It can be a rope, a chain, a vine, a string of beads, an actual root, etc. Visualize this cord reaching down through the surface you are on, growing down through the layers of grass, dirt, rock and earth all the way down to the hot molten core of the earth. Connect here. Connect your focus and your breath. As you breathe start to visualize all the thoughts, circumstances, emotions and people that come to mind in your day-to-day life. If you find it difficult to grab hold of these things visually, try assigning colours or shapes to them. If you’re a user of social media as I am, I find associating profile pictures to the individuals an easy way to visualize them. Next we are going to gather these thoughts in our minds eye, and as we breathe in we are going to send these images down through our grounding cord all the way to the centre of the earth where they are transformed into pranic energy-white light. If the thought of sending your loving family member or friend down your cord to be incinerated doesn’t sit well with you, you should know that in fact you are actually sending their energy back to them, energy they very much need, so you are really doing them a kindness. But if this still doesn’t sit well with you, you can affirm to yourself that you are sending them with love. This exercise works just the same as “cord cutting” does. It releases you from anything and anyone weighing you down and draining your energy, especially from those who are preying on your energy. After you have released all these thoughts, it’s time to destroy your grounding cord. We do this by visualizing our cord sparking, flickering and cracking like a wick on a stick of dynamite. See it disintegrate as it moves up through the earth all the way back up to Muladhara (root chakra). This is where we take our final breaths in and out as we give thanks and love to ourselves, the earth and universe for aiding and guiding us in our practice today. You can perform this exercise as often as you feel the need to, however it is imperative that you don’t send too much of your own energy down the cord. It’s nice to have a clean clutter free car but you still need gas in the engine!
This exercise can be done in anywhere from five minutes to an hour or more if you are fortunate enough to have the time. I can’t stress enough the importance of grounding and its impact and benefit to both the energetic and physical bodies. We are all energetic beings with energy and light flowing through each and every cell of our bodies, so it’s important to keep these cells clear, clean and energized. This is how we let go and most importantly, how we move forward.