Mental Stillness and Mental Health part2
I will assume you have read part1 and got some value from it so are now reading part 2. However if you have not read part one that is okay to as you will still gain value from this article as it describes more techniques shared and experienced at the Talk Mental Stillness for Mental Health at Yogific London in Feb 2018.
The next technique I'd like to share with you is, Grounding. In the interactive workshop we did this by all standing up. So stand up with your feet hip width apart so that your ankles are under your knees, which are under your hips and have your feet pointing forwards.
Now, as you stand feel the soles of your feet on the ground.
Feel your toes.
Feel your heels.
Feel the sides of your feet.
Feel how your feet feel on the ground.
Then bend your knees a little so that you feel the weight of your body more so on your feet and now observe how do your feet feel on the ground.
Is your weight balanced evenly across both feet? Is your weight more forwards or back towards your heels? Does one foot take most of the weight? Is all the weight on your toes? Feel, how your feet are in contact with the ground.
Once you have observed and checked in with how your feet are feeling on the ground, lean forwards, so that more of your weight is on the front of your feet and your toes. Then lean backwards so that more of your weight is on the heels of your feet. Then lean to one side and so you feel more weight on the outside of one foot and the inside of the other foot and then lean the other way. Come back to the centre and evenly distributing your weight across both feet, and find your centre as you stand.
Now, feel how that feels. Feel how it may feel different to when you first stood up to do this exercise. How do you feel? How does your mind feel? How does your body feel?
Some of the feedback received from the audience that participated was,
"I did not know it took so much effort to keep my feet on the ground."
"I could feel the energy going down into the ground from the soles of my feet and then I felt the energy come up from the ground into my feet."
"I feel more centred."
"I feel more present."
This was great feedback.
It demonstrates how it can be difficult, challenging to feel ones feet on the ground. Many of us are ungrounded and hence don't really feel that connection with the ground. As we consciously intend to feel our connection with the ground, we do connect, and this has a wonderful effect on our energy, our energy balances out and we feel calmer and more still within. When were are ungrounded our energy tends to be more in our heads and upper body, like a cone shape, whereas when we ground ourselves our energy becomes more balanced and like a cylinder around us versus a cone shape.
The second comment, demonstrates that the ground is alway under our feet supporting us, wherever we go whatever we are doing. To be conscious of this connection we feel the flow of energy from us to the Earth and the flow from the earth to us. In this case the energy is more cylindrical and balanced.
People also commented how they felt more centred, more present when doing this as they had to focus on their feet to be able to do this. Grounding even when standing on the floor with shoes, rather than on the ground bare foot still has benefits. The benefits are that ones experiences are, feeling more present, more centred and the mind is stiller being in the present.
When we are in the present we are not in the past, thinking of what has happened or what is going to happen. In terms of mental health benefits, depression is usually caused by something from the past bothering us and anxiety is usually to do with the anticipation of something that may occur in the future bothering us. When we are here in the present, so not in the past or the future, but here and now, where everything is good relatively. Hence mental stillness benefits our mental health and grounding is a good exercise to help us feel more mental stillness.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This was done in the workshop whilst standing on the floor of a class room on the 1st floor with our shoes on.