Late autumn and winter are known as vata season according to Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science). This means we may feel airy, more scattered than usual, and in need of some help getting grounded.
Below are 5 of my favorite ways to stay well-grounded, balanced and stable in vata season:
Practice yoga. Standing and balancing poses like Mountain, Tree and Warrior I or II, and even poses like Child’s and Savasana can help you feel more stable. Don’t forget to get upside down! Gentle inversions like Headstand and Legs Up the Wall can be simultaneously grounding and uplifting and have a calming effect by bringing blood flow to the brain (Downward-Facing Dog is even considered an inversion).
Get outside. Connect with nature by going to the beach or taking a hike. Practice earthing, which is the process of connecting your physical body (skin) to the Earth. One of my favorite ways of earthing is taking mindful walks — I leave my phone at home and walk barefoot outside. Simply becoming more consciously aware of your surroundings can help you feel more grounded.
Meditate. Helps to calm and still the body and mind. Try bringing your attention to your physical body. With a body check-in, you scan each body part one at a time — observing from head to toe (or vice versa). For grounding purposes, try sitting or laying on the floor when you meditate rather than a chair or bed.
Observe your breath. Pranayama (yogic breathing exercises) like Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) or Ujjayi breathing are great tools to help bring your awareness into the now. When you’re less in the head space, your thoughts aren’t getting caught in the past or future. It’s how you can develop a strong sense of BE-ing.
Eat grounding foods. Grounding foods come from the earth, for example, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and ginger… Avocado, mango, grapes, berries, etc. It’s also important to stick to substantive, oily, nourishing foods that are high in protein and high in fat. Favor the sweet, sour, and salty tastes. In general, try to reduce your consumption of raw vegetables, cold and frozen foods, as well as the bitter, pungent and astringent tastes. For flavoring your foods use warming spices like ginger, nutmeg, garlic, cinnamon. Stick to warm foods and drinks!
What do you do when you feel out-of-sync or “spaced out”? How do you ground yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts!