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Highly sensitive and spiritually open people get easily overwhelmed or overstimulated because they process more information from their environment, and from within.
There are simple things you can implement into your everyday life—and your yoga practice—to feel more grounded, less nervous, and more capable in bringing your ideas to the world.
Here are nine simple grounding techniques to include:
1. Through your daily asana practice, instead of moving quickly through a vinyasa, or sequence, stay in each posture for at least one full breath. Practice postures more statically than dynamically. If we slow down the movement outside of us, we also slow down the movement inside of us.
2. Placing your hands on your feet, knees, thighs, navel, chest, throat, and top of the head, and inhaling in each position while chanting a mantra can help you calm down. In Viniyoga therapy, we call it “Śārīra Nyāsa” (placement on the body).
3. Use your breath as a tool to calm you down. If you feel anxious, place your hands on your chest, inhale deeply for three seconds, and exhale for four seconds. Do that 12 times. Then place your hands on your belly, inhale for three seconds, and exhale for four seconds. Make sure your exhalation is always a little bit longer than your inhalation, and also do this 12 times.
4. Each of the elements connects to a different sense in ancient Indian understanding. The earth element connects to your sense of smell. You can utilize the scents of tobacco (no need to smoke, just smell), patchouli, myrrh, or sandalwood to help you ground.
5. Touch brings you back into your body, and is calming and grounding. If you have a partner, ask them to hold or hug you. If you don’t have a partner, place your right hand under your left armpit and your left hand on your right arm. Stay for a couple of breaths and close your eyes. Having one hand near your heart can calm you.
6. If you feel disconnected from your body, you can take a showerhead to each part of the body and connect consciously to that body part. Let the water splash on your feet and say, “These are my feet.” Then do the same for your calves, knees, thighs, and the rest of the body.
7. Use the help of Langhana Mantras that have the capacity to calm and reduce stress. A simple one is Om Śāntiḥ. Sit down, close your eyes, inhale deeply, and chant the mantra. Practice it 12 times in a row.
8. If you need help to process emotions, for example, use the breath to support you with the process. Inhale through your left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Make sure to close the other nostril fully when you alternate nostril breathing. We call that breath Candra Bhedana, which translates to “piercing the moon” (the ida nadi.)
9. By using visualizations, you can release tensions downward into the earth. Some examples are: imagining a rope going to the center of the earth to anchor you, or feeling yourself growing roots, or receiving nourishment from the earth (just like a plant). Visualizations, called the bhavana in yoga, are powerful tools to work with.