You know the urge you get when you are walking on the beach, to sink your toes in and feel the sand underneath your feet? My shoes almost feel unbearable and I find myself flinging them off, the anticipation and then relief I feel as my feet hit the sand is indescribable. Or maybe you get the urge to take your shoes off in the garden, to feel the grass underfoot on a warm sunny day? There is a name for that desire you feel to physically connect to nature: earthing.
I can remember a yoga class I went to once. She worked some magic and made me really focus on my feet, the feeling of the ground, and the energy underneath. Really taking your time to feel the pressure points in each individual toe and under the whole length of your foot. It changed how I thought about my desire to feel the earth beneath my feet. Afterwards, I looked up earthing sometimes called grounding and what a revelation. It explained the urges I naturally felt and why listening to them and standing barefoot on the earth, taking a moment to stop and breathe in the sensations feels so good.
Being bare feet has always been enjoyable for me, shoes feel claustrophobic, an inconvenience that I would do away with if I lived somewhere consistently warm. I often get the urge to feel the ground under my feet, whether it’s fresh dewy grass, soft, cushiony mossy patches in the woods or the warm solid feeling of the patio when it’s been heated by the sun. Just standing and feeling always helps me to calm down if I’m feeling anxious, makes me smile and gives me a break in what is often a busy day. Giving me time to remember what’s important and the feeling of reconnecting to not only myself but the earth, nature, something solid and dependable.
Although typically earthing or grounding is done by being barefoot in nature there are many more ways you can try. If you are new to earthing and want to give it a go or would like some ideas on how to incorporate more earthing into your life, keep reading.
This is the easiest way to practice grounding. Go outside to somewhere that is safe to be in nature like your garden, a park, open space, beach, river, or lakeshore for example. Remove your shoes and socks and place your bare feet on the earth, wriggle your toes, feel the sensations and just breathe.
If being barefoot isn’t your thing or you want to try something different, you can increase your skin-to-earth contact by lying on the ground. Try the grass at the park, a forest floor or the sand at the beach. This is a great way to also practice conscious breathing. Start with a full body stretch and scan. Notice any places you feel tension or pain then as you breathe bring your attention to those places, focus on breathing out and releasing the tension into the earth and breathing in calmness and warmth.
If you’re a water lover, here is one for you. Wild swimming in oceans, lakes, or rivers are all perfect ways to experience earthing. Take a moment to feel the cool water touching your body, the soft sand beneath your feet or smooth river stones to feel more connected to the Earth
Find a nice spot on the ground or in a tree, get comfortable by either standing, sitting or lying on the ground, and pay attention to your surroundings with your senses. What can you smell, hear, see and feel? How do they make you feel? This is a great way to focus on your surroundings and really connect with the nature around you.
Gardening without gloves so you are able to feel the earth, the plants and really connect with what you are doing is a great way to practice earthing. Use opportunities when you are tidying up, planting veggies and flowers, or learning how to get rid of moss. Just mind the nettles!
When earthing try different textures and different ways, you may have a favourite. But most importantly, listen to your body telling you that you need to just stop for a minute and let your body feel the earth below you.
Have you tried any of these earthing technique? I would love to know if you have a favourite?