Have you ever noticed how grounded you feel after strolling barefoot along the beach? Or how invigorated you feel after playing with your kids in the grass?
Well, it’s not just the respite from your daily life contributing to that positive feeling. New research suggests that the body’s direct contact with the Earth’s negative electric charge actually influences the electric charge of your body’s cells. This, in turn, can affect your overall state of health.
In fact, research has generated evidence that connecting with the Earth can:
- Reduce inflammation
- Lower stress levels
- Improve muscle and joint pain
- Boost positive moods
- Promote a healthy immune system
- Influence better sleep
When you connect to the Earth, you are exposed to the Earth’s electrons, which help increase the amount of electrons in your own body, and in so doing equalize the electric potential between your body and the Earth.
The human body is composed of many trillions of ions (atoms that have either a positive or negative charge) bound into a complex network of molecules.
With modern lifestyles, many people have a disproportionate amount of positive molecules due, in part, to their lack of connection with the ground. This comes from the use of insolating soles and sleeping in beds that don’t connect to the electrical ground plane of the Earth.
Connecting with the Earth—which is known to maintain a negative electrical charge—can provide the needed negative ions to create balance within the body’s cells.
How to Connect with the Earth in Walking Meditation
Connecting your body to the Earth is a way of grounding. Most native cultures walked and slept on the Earth—and many still do. Ancient rishis even sat daily, lightly clothed, upon the ground in meditation.
Although you may forego sleeping on the ground in your backyard or meditating in a loincloth at your local park, you can still integrate a grounding practice into your daily routine.
The following seven steps will help you create a connection to Mother Earth and vitalize your body at the same time:
1. Find a Natural Environment
The more natural the environment, the better, so head outside and find a quiet place to roam.
2. Remove Your Shoes
Most shoes are made with plastic or rubber soles, both of which inhibit the absorption of electric charge from the Earth. Take off your shoes and sink your feet into the Earth. Feel the texture, temperature, and density beneath your feet.
3. Walk Slowly and Mindfully
Slowly lift one foot and place it down in front of the other. Move so slowly that you can feel the weight shift from your heel to the middle of your foot to your toes.
Pay attention to any subtle changes as you slowly move from one foot to the other. Notice how the entire body engages its muscles to maintain balance. Observe the weight of the body as it begins to shift. The hips move slightly from left to right, the core engages, and the shoulders pull back.
4. Synchronize Your Breath
Inhale as your left foot steps forward. Exhale as your right foot steps forward. Take full, deep, rhythmic, and slow breaths.
Remember that you are not walking for exercise. Rather, you are integrating meditation with movement. The slower your breath is, the slower your steps will be. The slower your steps are, the calmer your mind will be.
5. Integrate a Mantra
A very simple mantra can help your mind stay focused on the walking meditation. Simply repeating “Inhale-Exhale” may be enough. If you prefer the vibration of a Sanskrit mantra, try “So Hum.” Mentally repeat one word as you inhale and the other as you exhale.
6. Let Go of Your Worries
With each step you take, release your cares, concerns, burdens, and worries to Mother Earth. Feel them sinking into the ground, leaving you lighter with each step.
7. Express Gratitude
When you are ready to come out of the meditation, stand with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart. Take three deep breaths, and with each one, give thanks to Mother Earth for receiving and dissolving everything that does not support you.
You can simply repeat, “Thank you,” or give thanks for something specific. Either way, let gratitude spring up from within and carry you out of your meditation and back into your day. Practice your walking meditation for as little or as much time as you want. Even a minute or two of this meditation can work wonders.
By practicing earthing with a walking meditation, you will find that your body and mind can be revitalized in new and exciting ways. Now, that is something positive.