Friday, March 25, 2011

Staying Grounded

Recently I returned from a trip of a lifetime.  Really.  Twenty-five days rafting 282 miles down the Colorado River through the entire length of the Grand Canyon.  Nothing I could write here would even begin to capture the experience.  Completely amazing.  Let’s just say returning to reality was a bit harsh. 

Since being back I’ve been finding it a struggle to stay grounded, or focused.  My mind keeps wandering back to those good times.  And while it’s great to reflect and remember, it is also important to be present in the moment so I can fully enjoy all the amazing moments around me in real life.

Staying focused and dealing with the daily stress that life throws at you can be a challenge no matter what your vacation status.  There are lots of techniques.  I’ve been keeping it pretty simple, however. 

First, as always, I focus on my breath.   When the kids start bickering and I long for the quiet song of the Canyon Wren, I take a breath.  Inhaling to a count of 4.  Pausing at the top.  Then, exhaling to a count of 6.  Seriously, nothing decreases stress and brings you to that quiet place like focusing on your breath.

My yoga practice has consisted of a lot of grounding poses as well.  Life is complicated up here and the days get busy, but I do make time for my practice in the morning.  I find that if I can practice inverted poses such as shoulder stand or peacock, even standing postures that particularly focus on the rooting down through the feet I am able to focus better throughout the day.  Nothing strengthens the nervous system like flipping it upside down!  Check out www.yogajournal.com for contraindications and further instruction.

The afternoons have also had me craving green tea with ginseng.  It just leaves me feeling good!  It’s no wonder really, Skidmore-Roth (2010) reports that ginseng has been found to increase physical endurance, improve the ability to cope with stress, and improve concentration.  Perhaps it’s why the dogs have gotten some extra walks!

Sometimes we need a helping hand to stay grounded, or to be present in the moment.  But it’s worth it.  Because those moments, whether they be as big as the canyon or as small as my 3 year-old’s pinkie toe, that are so completely amazing.






~Kristin Henningsen M.S., R.Y.T.

1 comments:

body lift said...

I can understand with your struggling with grounding after coming form long trip. But I think you will do it easily after passed some time. Don't much bothered about it.

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