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Take a moment to ground yourself with this meditation that helps bring awareness to the relationship between ourselves and the earth beneath us.
También tenemos esta meditación en Español.
How to Do This Practice:
- Find a comfortable position to start the practice, ensuring that your feet feel grounded.
- Focus on your breath, and how the air moves from your chest out through your nose.
- Notice how the bottoms of your feet are connected to the earth, and how your body is supported and sustained by the earth beneath you.
- If any distractions arise, refocus your attention on your breathing and the points of contact between your body and the surface beneath you.
- Complete this practice by expressing a sense of gratitude for the earth and our ability to reground ourselves within it.
Today’s Happiness Break host:
Diana Parra is professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She is also a registered mindfulness and yoga teacher who focuses on sharing these practices with the Latino immigrant community in St Louis.
Learn more about Diana Parra’s work: https://tinyurl.com/4acc7nsv
More resources from The Greater Good Science Center:
Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation Is Good for Your Health: https://tinyurl.com/3f79nsav
Can Mindfulness Help When You’re Depressed? https://tinyurl.com/yc7heja3
Does Mindfulness Make You More Compassionate? https://tinyurl.com/4beawh8b
How to Practice Mindfulness Throughout Your Work Day: https://tinyurl.com/y8ftbcrz
How Mindfulness Improves Sleep: https://tinyurl.com/2tunpkjb
We love hearing from you! Did this practice help you feel more grounded? Email us at email@example.com or use the hashtag #happinesspod.
Find us on Spotify: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus
Help us share Happiness Break! Rate us and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/6s39rzus
We’re living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That’s where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
Dacher Keltner: Welcome to Happiness Break, where we take a short break to try a practice shown by science to help us live a happier and more meaningful life. I’m Dacher Keltner, and today’s meditation is a special one for me. It’s a grounding practice, where we’ll use lab tested mindfulness techniques to drop into a calmer frame of mind and quell our reactive and ruminative thought patterns so we can enjoy this present moment.
Mindfulness practices help us handle the stresses of life from PTSD to the daily stresses that can occupy our minds. They help our bodies. They can elevate vagal tone and reduce pain symptoms. And then mindfulness practices help our social relationships. They make us more empathetic and forgiving with other people.
But the reason this meditation’s so special is because for the first time we’re offering it in both English and Spanish. And we’re working on more Spanish language resources as well. So stay tuned. If you’re a Spanish speaker, check out the Spanish version of this meditation in our thread. And share it with your Spanish speaking friends and family.
Our meditation guide today is Diana Parra.
Diana is a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, in Missouri. She’s also an experienced mindfulness and yoga teacher.
So find somewhere comfortable and settle in. Here’s Diana.
Diana Parra: Hello, everybody. My name is Diana Parra, and most of my efforts for the past ten years have been in bringing many of these practices, such as yoga and mindfulness meditation to communities that have been traditionally excluded. particularly the Latino immigrant population here in St. Louis, where I have adapted many practices that they can use when they are dealing with issues that come up in their immigration journey.
So what I’m going to share with you today is a meditation that I call the grounding land meditation. And for this practice, you find yourself in a very comfortable position that feels very uplifted for you, whether that is sitting on a chair or perhaps sitting on the floor or even laying on on a couch, or on a hard surface.
I want you to bring attention to the bottom of your feet and make sure they’re rooted.
And also for this practice, you do not necessarily have to close your eyes. You can keep them open. You can maybe just lower your gaze slightly towards the floor.
And as you do this, first just beginning to notice your breath.
Noticing the air coming in and out through your nose.
Noticing the movements of expansion and contraction of your chest and your belly as the air goes in and out.
And as we do this, you might find distractions in this practice. You might find, perhaps, noises outside or in the room you’re in. And if this happens, just bring an awareness back to your breath.
Bringing awareness back to your feet, particularly the bottom of your feet.
Sensing that connection between the earth, how you can let the weight of your body just be held and sustained.
Remembering to focus on the breathing or on the contact against the land, whenever you get distracted.
Noticing the inhale,
noticing the exhale.
Noticing one more time the surface underneath,
the ground beneath your feet,
maybe even sensing the points of pressure,
the points of contact between your body and the ground.
And to end this practice, we take a few minutes of gratitude.
Gratitude for being able to practice this together today.
Gratitude for the earth that sustains us.
For the nourishment it provides to us.
And for this connection that we have and can find whenever we feel off center or unbalanced. Knowing that we can always ground ourselves in the land.
And if your eyes were closed, very gently beginning to open the eyes. And perhaps looking around you, if there is a window near you, looking out the window. Looking at the walls behind you. The walls surrounding you. The ceiling. And lastly, again, back to the earth. To the ground. To your feet. In gratitude for being able to do this practice today. Thank you for practicing with me today.
Dacher Keltner: That was Diana Parra, a mindfulness and yoga teacher and professor at Washington University. And a reminder that we have a Spanish version of this meditation led by Diana in our feed as well. You can find it on Spotify or wherever you’re listening right now. So if you’ve got any Spanish speaking friends and family who might enjoy it, please share it with them. And keep an eye out for more Spanish language resources to come.
I’m Dacher Keltner, thank you for grounding with us on this happiness break. Our show is a production of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and PRX. Have a wonderful day.