Since you started going to school at age 3 or 4, fall has always been a time of transition.
The transitions have changed over the years as you’ve changed. You’re no longer starting a new year of school, but the transitions have gotten bigger and, oftentimes, scarier.
A new apartment, a new job, a new partner, a new city, a plane ticket.
These tools and grounding yoga poses will remind you that no matter what’s going on in your life as we transition into the darker half of the year, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You have roots. You are safe. You can withstand any storm.
Grounding has two purposes. The first is to heal trauma, both physical and emotional, to allow you to release fear. The second purpose is to bring earthy energy into the system. For signs you’re not grounded and how to fix that, check out this past blog post here.
This herbs, teas, oils and yoga practice will serve both purposes. They will work to balance and cleanse the root chakra, which keeps us grounded and linked to the earth. When we lack sufficient root chakra energy we may feel ungrounded, question our value, feel scattered, or feel disconnected with ourselves and the Earth.
You can dive right into these poses, or you can incorporate grounding crystals, herbs, and oils into your practice. If you’re really feeling flighty, anxious, afraid, or scattered, I recommend taking extra time for yourself here for a full grounding practice.
Drink an Herbal Tea
Valerian, Lotus root, Hibiscus, and Hawthorn are all grounding roots. Besides their healing physical benefits, these herbs are known to release stress and calm anxiety. Try a tea blend with a few of these herbs or keep it simple with just one. Here are 3 healing DIY herbal tea blend recipes for you to try.
Scent is a powerful way to introduce more grounding energy to the system. Lavender, rose, and chamomile are soothing oils that will help you heal trauma to release fear. Sage, sandalwood, and patchouli will increase the flow of earthy energy.
There are many different ways to use your oils. For your yoga practice, you’ll want to either dilute the oils with water and create a mist or dilute them with a carrier oil (such as olive oil or coconut oil) and massage the oil into your skin. Massaging the feet as part of your yoga can be incredibly powerful, especially with these grounding oils. Here are a few essential oil blends I love to use in rollerballs.
Set Out or Wear Your Crystals
Hematite, smoky quartz, shungite, jasper, snowflake obsidian, and prasiolite all create grounding energy.
Hematite is a highly protective stone. It helps to open your root chakra, eliminate negative energy, and create a more balanced and centered mind.
Smoky quartz is a good choice for those who find hematite to be too intense or heavy. Smoky quartz grounds and stabilizes while balancing the root chakra, but in a much more subtle and uplifting way than hematite. Shungite is another powerful stone for balancing the root chakra, helping to bring all your negative energy and toxic thoughts to the surface to release that which does not serve you.
Jasper brings a strong Earthy energy to your practice, deepening your connection with Mother Earth. Prasiolite is another powerful healing stone that helps you ground yourself to the energy of the Earth, remove negative energy, and replace it with positive energy.
Snowflake obsidian is a grounding and protective stone. It brings balance in the midst of chaos and helps remove negative energy as it draws emotions and toxic thought patterns to the surface. It is also conducive to entering a deep meditative state. For extra grounding, try wearing snowflake obsidian jewelry during your practice like our Shadow Self Snowflake Obsidian Necklace. Its moon shape will remind you that just as the moon flows through phases and cycles with ease, so can we. Or, customize your own necklace with any of these grounding gems.
Roll Out Your Mat
Ancient yogis divided the life force energy, prana, into 5 energetic components known as Vayus. The apana vayu is the energy of elimination that flows downward and out. When you bring awareness and focus to this energy, it will help ground you.
We often direct too much energy upwards, spending too much time thinking and creating imbalance, stress, and lack of emotional stability and mental clarity. These yoga poses will all refocus your energy downward, back to the body and our connection to our home: Mother Earth.
Sukasana, Easy Pose
Begin your practice comfortably seated in sukasana, easy pose. Become conscious of your sit bones pressing into the mat.
Start by meditating on the root chakra bija, or seed, mantra: LAM. As you meditate, visualize the breath beginning at the base of the spine. As you inhale, the breath travels up the spine to the crown of the head, the crown chakra. As you exhale, the breath travels down to the base of the spine, grounding you and growing roots into the Earth.
You can say the mantra out loud, or simply repeat it to yourself quietly.
Virabhadrasana II, Warrior 2
Warrior 2 is an incarnation of Shiva, the destroyer. This pose will remind you of your strength and stability.
Create a firm foundation for this pose by visualizing the feet connecting to the earth. Feel the mat or ground underneath you and strengthen through the legs to send your roots into the earth. Continue to focus your energy downward with the root chakra breath, imagining now that the exhale sends the breath all the way down through the legs into the Earth.
Utkata Konasana, Goddess Pose
Goddess Pose, as the name suggests, is another pose of fierce strength. The pose represents the feminine force that birthed the Universe. The same energy inside you is the energy that created the Universe, and it is the energy that will carry you through this transition into the darker half of the year.
Allow the strength of the pose and the feminine energy it cultivates to bring you back to your center. What are your fears in this time of change? This is the time to reflect on them, and then release them.
Vrikshasana, Tree Pose
This pose improves both physical and mental balance, increases your ability to concentrate, and reminds you that you can bring peace and focus to all situations.
As you enter the pose, firmly ground down with your left foot. Press into each individual toe and through the four corners of the foot. Firm through the left leg, and feel the support of every muscle as you bend and lift the right leg to enter into the pose.
Imagine that you are a tree. You have survived rain, fire, and storms of all kinds, yet still you stand. Picture the roots that grow from deep within the earth and wrap around your legs.
Malasana, Yogi Squat
This pose helps create strength and calms the body, mind, and spirit. As you inhale, lengthen through the spine. As you exhale, feel the energy of the breath flow down the spine from the crown of the head to the tailbone.
The apana energy this pose cultivates helps you release fear as you root down close to the Earth.
Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward Facing Dog
How much time do we spend mindlessly in downward facing dog, letting our minds wander? This pose is often repeated during yoga classes, which makes it easy to space out and spend the pose waiting for the “next thing.”
In this sequence, I encourage you not to do this. Spread through each finger and press firmly into the palms of the hands. Straighten and strengthen through the legs to push the heels closer to the mat.
My yoga teacher actually refers to downward facing dog as a standing pose. That’s how strong your legs should be! On each inhale, visualize the roots of the earth pulling the heels closer to the ground. On each exhale, picture the white-hot energy of the breath flowing down the spine.
As you end your practice, return to sukhasana. Feel the support of the earth beneath you, closing with this mantra:
“All is well. Everything is working out for your highest good. Out of this situation, only good will come, and you are safe.” -Louise Hay
In this season, we move from light to dark together, with the support of the Earth and the support of our yoga practice.
About Eryn Johnson
Eryn is a yoga teacher, freelance writer, and social media manager currently based in Philadelphia. She completed her 200-hour teacher training in Rishikesh, India where she became obsessed with mantra chanting, yoga philosophy, and chai tea. When she’s not doing yoga, she’s planning her next trip, hosting the Living Open podcast, or eating Thai food. Follow along with her adventures on Instagram at @erynj_ and at www.livingopenshow.com