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how to ground yourself through yoga during stressful times - 7 poses


a yoga student at a yoga studio in Beaverton practicing meditation on the mat

In times of stress and uncertainty, turning to yoga can be a powerful way to find peace and stability amidst chaos. Grounding yoga poses, in particular, can help us reconnect with the earth, center our minds, and find inner balance. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed by work, navigating challenging times in your personal life or relationships, or simply seeking tranquility, these seven grounding yoga poses can help you cultivate a sense of calm and stability. Let's explore each pose, including how to do it, modifications, and breathwork techniques to deepen your practice.


HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF WITH MOUNTAIN POSE


a yoga teacher in mountain pose at a yoga studio

Mountain Pose (Tadasana):

  • How to do it: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides, and palms facing forward. Root down through your feet, engage your thigh muscles, and lengthen through your spine. Lift your chest, relax your shoulders, and gaze straight ahead.

  • Modifications: If you have balance issues, you can practice against a wall or place a block between your thighs to help stabilize your alignment.

  • Breathwork: Inhale deeply through your nose, filling your lungs with air, and exhale slowly through your mouth, releasing tension and grounding through your feet.

HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF WITH TREE POSE


a woman of color in tree pose on a rooftop

Tree Pose (Vrksasana):

  • How to do it: Begin in Mountain Pose. Shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right foot off the ground. Place the sole of your right foot on your inner left thigh or calf, avoiding the knee joint. Find your balance, bring your palms together at your heart center, and gaze softly ahead.

  • Modifications: If you struggle with balance, you can keep your toes on the ground or place your foot on your ankle for a less intense variation.

  • Breathwork: Inhale deeply as you lengthen through your spine, and exhale slowly as you root down through your standing foot, feeling the support of the earth beneath you.

HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF IN CHILD'S POSE


a yoga class with the students in child's pose on the floor

Child's Pose (Balasana):

  • How to do it: Begin on your hands and knees with your big toes touching and knees wide apart. Sit back on your heels and fold forward, extending your arms in front of you or resting them by your sides. Rest your forehead on the mat and relax your entire body.

  • Modifications: Place a cushion or bolster under your forehead or knees for added support and comfort.

  • Breathwork: Take slow, deep breaths into your belly, expanding on the inhale and softening on the exhale. Visualize releasing tension with each breath and surrendering to the present moment.

HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF WITH WARRIOR II


a yoga student learning how to ground yourself in warrior II

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II):

  • How to do it: Start in Mountain Pose. Step your feet wide apart, extending your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and bend your right knee, aligning it over your ankle. Keep your left leg straight and strong. Gaze over your right fingertips.

  • Modifications: If you have knee issues, you can reduce the bend in your front knee or widen your stance for added stability.

  • Breathwork: Inhale deeply as you lengthen through your spine, and exhale slowly as you sink into your front knee, feeling grounded through your feet and strong in your warrior stance.

HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF IN SEATED FORWARD FOLD


a paddleboarder practicing seated forward fold on a lake

Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana):

  • How to do it: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale to fold forward from your hips, reaching for your feet or shins. Keep your spine long and avoid rounding your back. Relax your neck and shoulders.

  • Modifications: If you have tight hamstrings, you can bend your knees slightly or place a folded blanket under your hips for support.

  • Breathwork: Inhale to find length in your spine, and exhale to deepen the stretch, surrendering to the forward fold with each breath.

HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF WITH LEGS-UP-THE-WALL


a yoga student learning how to ground herself with legs up the wall

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani):

  • How to do it: Sit with one side of your body close to a wall. Lie on your back and extend your legs up the wall, resting your heels against the wall. Keep your arms by your sides with palms facing up. Close your eyes and relax into the pose.

  • Modifications: If you have lower back issues, you can place a folded blanket or cushion under your hips for support.

  • Breathwork: Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Inhale deeply through your nose, feeling your belly rise, and exhale slowly through your nose, feeling tension release with each breath.

HOW TO GROUND YOURSELF WITH CORPSE POSE


a yoga student on a mat learning how to ground yourself in corpse pose

Corpse Pose (Savasana):

  • How to do it: Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms by your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and allow your body to relax completely. Release any tension in your muscles and surrender to the floor.

  • Modifications: If lying flat is uncomfortable, you can place a cushion or bolster under your knees or lower back for support.

  • Breathwork: Allow your breath to return to its natural rhythm. Focus on each inhale and exhale, letting go of any thoughts or distractions. Sink deeper into relaxation with each breath, feeling grounded and at peace.

Conclusion: 

These seven grounding yoga poses offer a sanctuary of calm amidst the storm of daily life. By incorporating these poses into your yoga practice, you can cultivate a sense of stability, peace, and inner strength, even during the most stressful times. Remember to listen to your body, honor your limitations, and focus on the breath as you move through each pose. May your practice be a source of solace and serenity, guiding you back to your center whenever you need it most.


Community is another vital source for decreasing stress. In our yoga classes, we will teach you how to ground yourself during each of the postures. Book your first free class today and begin to cultivate your innate resilience and foster the community that will help you along your journey to contentment. If you have any questions, please reach out to Maddie at yoga@earthbreathyoga.com.

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