The Science of Spirituality Series: On Earthing
April is a month of incorporating mindful connections with nature, as we celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd.
This month, I’m exploring the topic of ‘Eco-Conscious Living’ and the powerful benefits of mindfully connecting to earth’s energy.
Through the expertise of my podcast guest Clint Ober, who is co-author of ‘Earthing’ I further explore the power of grounding and how to incorporate Earthing into our daily routine to bring significant positive effects on our physical and mental health.
What is Grounding?
Grounding is a way to connect to Mother Earth.
Mother Earth is a natural stabilizing source of healing “vibes” that is healing, invigorating, and soothing.
Grounding entails two essential elements: 1) Being fully present within your body and with your breath, 2) Connecting with bare skin to the Earth.
When the human body is grounded, excess charge is removed and balanced by the transfer of electrons from the body to the Earth.
In his book, Earthing, Clint Ober refers to these electrons as vitamin G, G for Ground. Just as sunlight provides the human body with vitamin D, exposure to the ground provides “electrical nutrition” in the form of electrons, a vital source for the human being’s well-being.
Ways to Get Grounded
In Sanskrit, ‘Prithvi’ means Earth, and ‘Mudra’ means a Gesture of the Earth. Therefore, Prithvi Mudra helps to awaken the element of earth in our body. Prithvi mudra may improve stamina, relieve fatigue and boost the growth of tissues.
There was a time on Earth when all animals including humans naturally experienced alignment with Earth’s healing elements through movement, such as the Yogic practice of Prithvi Mudra.
In my study of Yoga and deeper understanding of Ayurveda, I learned that five elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Space) comprise the composition of all sentient beings or nature. Most things possess the predominance of one or more of these elements.
The energy of Earth’s elements can translate to fire, coolness, heaviness, and denseness.
Our ancestors practiced yoga, Chi-Gong, and other practices by bringing their bodies into Earth’s energetic elements. By working in alignment with the Earth’s elements you can experience a feeling of balance that your body needs, a sense of vitality, a solid feeling of emotional stability,
Consider incorporating the Prithvi Mudra along with your daily meditation which you can practice seated outdoors.
Pranayama is the Vedic Indian tradition of breathwork. Prana means life force energy, and Pranayama is the conscious control of this energy. By bringing awareness to this energetic current and controlling the flow of that energy through specific grounding breathing techniques you can calm the central nervous system.
Vritti Technique (Box Breathing)
The Box Breathing technique is a simple yet powerful method that can help you get grounded, focused, and calm.
This yogic deep breathing technique is so effective that is utilized by the United States Navy SEALS. This breathing technique quickly calms the sympathetic nervous system, shifting your state from “fight or flight” to a parasympathetic state of calmness.
- Start by breathing out slowly to release all the air from your lungs.
- Inhale through the nose slowly counting from one to four in your head, while maintaining awareness of how the air fills your lungs and then abdomen.
- Hold your breath for a count of four.
- Exhale slowly from one to four.
- Hold your breath again slowly counting from one to four.
- Repeat the technique three or four more times.
This grounding technique has been practiced by many of our ancestors, such as those from India.
Our ancestors also awakened Earth’s positive energy through contact with bare feet.
Growing up in an Indian culture it was customary to walk barefoot in the home and sleep on floor mats.
I realized that while my ancestors and cultural upbringing may have been exposed to lifestyle practices to be in more alignment with Earth’s energy, my modern lifestyle may have disconnected me from Earth’s healing energies.
Perhaps due to modern-day stress as a working professional woman, I’ve been dealing with insomnia, aches & pains, and high blood pressure.
So I started to search for solutions to my modern-day wellness issues.
Late last year I attended an energy awareness summit where someone spoke about the profound benefits of walking outdoors early in the morning.
I learned about the potential positive grounding effects from the earth combined with the revitalizing effects of the sun on how it can help with sleep and immunity.
“Walk as if you were kissing the Earth with your feet” – Thich Nhat Hanh – Buddhist Teacher
Upon some research, I learned about Earthing pioneer, Clint Ober who coined the term ‘Earthing’ in the 1990s.
Soon, Earthing would become a very important part of my daily morning routine.
Trusting Ancient Wisdom of Earthing
If someone had asked me if I’d be Earthing every morning just a few years back my reaction would have been that this “grounding practice” sounds too “woo-woo” or “hippy”.
However, after experiencing Earthing I have felt its results.
Simply put, Earthing also referred to as Grounding, is a holistic healing practice of connecting our bodies to the surface of the Earth with bare skin contact. The earth emits subtle energy which our body absorbs. The human body is constantly being bombarded with free radicals, which has a cumulative effect of over-saturation of positive electrons. These positive electrons need to be balanced with a negative charge provided by the Earth.
In modern times as humans, we’ve become disconnected from Earth’s surface. When our feet do touch Earth’s surface we often have insulated synthetic-soled shoes. And most of us sleep on insulated beds that are elevated. Additionally, most modern-day humans are exposed to too many positive electrons due to cell phones, Wi-Fi, modern-day electronic appliances, and other sources of electromagnetic waves.
Our lifestyle has led to electrical instability and electron deficiency, and many of us are unaware that Earthing is a healing remedy to recharge and revitalize our bodies.
You can practice Earthing by taking off your shoes and socks and sitting, standing, or walking barefoot on the ground outdoors. Or you can reap the benefits indoors through conductive bedsheets or floor mats linked by wire to a ground rod outside of your home or office, or plugged into a wall outlet with a modern Earth grounding system.
Each morning I walk out barefoot into my grassy backyard, and I walk around under the rising sun doing breath work or Mantras while sipping on my warm lemon tea. And I practice meditation with the Prithvi Mudra which further helps me feel grounded.
To learn more about the healing science of Earthing read the section below ‘The Science of Spirituality’.
The Healing Science of Earthing
Many practices of ancient cultures might have been considered “spiritual in nature”.
Those practices shared a common understanding that the Earth was sacred and that it was a source of energy – called prana by Indians or Qi by the Chinese. These past cultures or civilizations were in harmony with the cycles of Earth as they understood our survival and well-being relied on tuning into the cycles of Nature. The people of these past civilizations would walk barefoot or exercise outdoors without footwear, and sleep directly on the ground.
Our ancestors were in constant connection with the Earth, and in essence grounded to Earth’s charge, which naturally emitted electrons that neutralize disease and inflammation.
In modern times we live and work in a world where we are insulated from the Earth. And because of our modern lifestyles, the body holds a certain charge which fosters inflammation.
In his book, Earthing, Clint Ober explains that Earthing naturally protects the body’s delicate bioelectrical circuitry against static electrical charges and interferences, and “facilities the reception of free electrons and the stabilizing electrical signals and energy of the Earth”.
Earthing allows the human body to naturally receive and become charged with Earth’s free electrons. When the human body absorbs these electrons this practice reduces electrical imbalances in the body and the oxidative free radicals that trigger chronic inflammation and other modern days diseases.
The Magic Pain Patch
Inflammation is a modern-day health problem. In the book Earthing, Dr. James L. Oschman points out that inflammation is the “critical link between our lifestyle and the soaring global increase of chronic diseases.”
Inflammation has been described as “body on fire” which triggers pain.
If you have pain in your body, then you likely have inflammation.
Inflammation is believed to be the “underlying cause of more than eighty chronic illnesses, and more than half of Americans suffer currently from one or more of them,” per the authors of the book, Earthing.
Earthing or Grounding has been referred to as the “magic pain patch” to address Inflammation.
What Earthing does is it reduces inflammation in your body. Earthing helps remove or reduce the electric charge in the body and puts the body back in its most natural state, thereby reducing or eliminating physical pain.
There are 20 peer-review publications that are part of the body of evidence-based studies on grounding, all revealing that just being grounded to the earth is a catalyst for pain reduction.
All of these studies remind us that as humans we’ve somehow become disconnected from this healing energetic source. This powerful source helps reduce inflammation and maintain the electrical stability of the body.
Research-backed studies show Earthing improves so many common modern health challenges including some benefits listed here.
- Reduction in Inflammation
- Reduction in Chronic Pain
- Increased Energy
- Reduced Stress and Anxiety
- Improved Sleep
How to Practice Earthing
Consider practicing a minimum of 15-20 minutes of Earthing to feel the full benefits of Earthing. Per Clint Ober, “Any amount of Grounding is good. More is better. Your body is designed to be Grounded 24/7.“
Practice grounding outdoors by having your bare skin touch the ground.
Earthing can be practiced on a variety of Earth surface types – grass, sand, dirt, and the sidewalk – all hold an energy field accessible right beneath our feet.
You can reap the benefits of Earthing by walking, sitting, or making some form of contact with your bare feet, hands, or body. And it’s FREE!
Ready to Experience Grounding?
Seeing is believing.
Take your lounge chair and let your feet touch your grassy ground, sit on the grass making contact with the ground with your hands and feet, or consider walking around on the grass.
Or if you are more of a beach person like my husband go to the beach and walk barefoot on a sandy beach.
While Earthing consider incorporating a simple meditation that includes the Prithvi Mudra and the Box Breathing techniques to truly immerse yourself into the healing benefits of grounding.
Notice how you feel after doing your own experimental study of connecting to the earth.
Try Vitamin G. G for Ground. G for good for the body.
3-Minutes Grounding Guided Meditation
Happy Earth Month! In honor of this special occasion, I invite you to try this short guided meditation on Grounding. In just 3 minutes, you’ll feel more connected to the earth’s energy and your breath, helping you find a sense of inner peace and harmony.
Take a moment to find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes. As you breathe deeply, imagine roots growing from the soles of your feet deep into the earth, tapping into the powerful and nurturing energy of our planet.
Let yourself fully connect with the earth, feeling the support and grounding it provides. Breathe in the fresh air and let it fill your lungs with life-giving oxygen, as you exhale release any stress or negativity.
This short meditation will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and more connected to the world around you. We encourage you to take this feeling with you throughout your day and share it with others.
Join me in celebrating Earth Month by exploring more nature-inspired practices like this one.