Barefoot in the morning

We spend an awful lot of time trying to create space for ourselves in our lives, working to create inner sanctuaries in our minds, or safe corners in our homes, an hour for yoga. And yet, better perhaps than all of these, is the biggest and most accessible space on the planet – Nature. It is a healing, soul-soaringly beautiful space that changes all the time, that reminds us of the circularity of life, that feeds our senses and welcomes our solitude. Emma Johnson shares her love of grounding…

I’m about four months into a new ritual of a morning grounding practice that I started in the late summer. Every morning, I step into the garden barefoot, sometimes with my cup of tea, sometimes without. I stand with my feet firmly on the grass, close my eyes and simply try to feel the connection between my body and the ground. While I stand there, I try to feel into the energy of the earth, imagining it thrumming with life, a steadying, vital force from below. And

I imagine the energy of my body too, tight with nerves or to-do lists.
And, as I listen to the sounds of the birds, the rain on the leaves, the creak of the trees, I try to imagine that frantic pace slowly leaving me, replaced by the earth’s innate calm, holding me. I stand there until I am completely still, not swaying or moving, having found my balance, having grounded myself, noticing the stillness that has come over me. It’s a simple practice. It only takes five or ten minutes. Some mornings, it’s easier to drop into that place than others. But I can feel the habit slowly starting to form, the practice of being able to connect more deeply each day.

Grounding is a wonderful, and simple, way to ensure you have plenty of time outside, especially as it grows colder and darker. ‘Gravity holds our bodies to the earth and grounds us with its negative magnetic electrical frequency of around 7.8 Hz,’ explains Kelsea Anderson, writing for charity TreeSisters. ‘By connecting our bare feet with the earth, our bodies are recharged with healing “earth energy”.’

Grounding can help us heal and offer a release from illness and injury, exhaustion, inflammation, arthritis, weight issues, depression, chronic pain and more.

To ground yourself in the simplest way possible, simply stand on the earth – in your garden or out walking, barefoot. Stand as still as you can and try to really feel how the soles of your feet feel. Focus on the steady pulse from the earth. Follow that feeling along the tops of your feet, your ankles and legs, feeling the earth’s energy moving through you. ‘Visualise your feet “rooted” in the earth and gently sway your body like a tree, noticing the gravity that connects your body to the earth,’ says Anderson.

If you want to add movement to it, stand with your arms facing outwards, breathe in through your nose as you raise your arms up over your head and then, as your hands meet, hold the breath for four counts as you rise up onto your toes. Then breathe out slowly as you turn the hands outwards and lower the arms again and bring your feet slowly back down until they’re flat. You will wobble at first, but you will get stronger. »