Student Grounding Practices by Carlos David Avendaño, Lotte van Der Kam, Petra Gottschal and Ruben De Vries

We invite you to participate in a wide range of events lined up this month.

How do you ground yourself after a busy day? We asked some students to share their grounding practices with us, and here are three of the responses we received. David, Lotte and Petra have all offered their teaching in Spectrum activities such as Yoga and Reiki.

Life's simple, sacred moments (David)

The first heartbeat that I feel when I'm lying down in my bed with my hands res- ting on my chest and breathing slowly connects me to the present moment. When I feel that soft vibration, I can easi- ly recognize the life that I am and the life that I express. For me, being grounded means being present in myself, my body, my emotions, my feelings, and my thoughts. I became an observer. It is like going on a train and letting the time pass and the air come into the lungs. When I breathe consciously, I feel a soft touch going through my nose and my throat. That touch reaches my lungs and expands my chest. Then I release. That breath goes through my mouth and leaves my body.

Some days, I only rest my hands on my knees for a couple of minutes and connect with that warmth that goes from my palm through my leg. Some nights I only close my eyes and let my body rest. I sense its heaviness and how it breathes. Some mornings, I enjoy a glass of water and how refreshing it feels. Some afternoons, I just play any song and try to find each instrument behind the voice.

Being grounded is also about enjoying the simple moments as if they were sacred. It is about embracing the beauty of daily life experiences. When I slow down time and live in the present, I find a different perspective to appreciate the world around me.

The balance of Yoga (Lotte)

When I am overwhelmed, I quickly tend to lose awareness of my body and my needs. This is where my daily yoga practice comes in. Since I've been practicing yoga for over ten years now, it really has become an anchor to bring me back to the present moment. In my physical yoga practice, and in moments of stress, what helps me the most is to breathe out dee- ply, hold for a moment, and let the in-breath come naturally. After a few rounds of breathing, I usually sit for a bit to observe my breath. I check in and ask myself 'What do I really need in this moment?'

The answer to what I need is usually clear to me. Often, I need space in my schedule to just be, to do nothing, or to go into nature alone for some meditation or a walk. But sometimes going from full-on busyness to quiet is very challenging, it makes me feel restless and anxious. That's when dancing, making music and hanging out with my friends brings me much more peace than being alone and doing nothing.

The most important thing I've learned is to keep a balance between rest and activity. A regular practice of being with my- self, such as yoga, walking or having short check-ins, helps me to keep this balance. To me, the practice of yoga is to surrender to the flow of life and at the same time to stay grounded within myself. Like swimming in a wild river but not drowning in its strong current.

Fifteen minutes of loving life (Petra)

At the end of a warm day, I like to put on my barefoot shoes (yes, those with toes) and take a little walk in my neighbourhood. The air is finally cooling down, and the sunset makes the trees around me look magical as they blow in the wind. My house cat likes to join me on my walks, and it has slowly become a little tradition for us as we walk the same short round.

Both my feet and the cat quickly get tired, so the walk is not very long, but still long enough for me to observe my surroundings and connect with my senses. I notice how the ground feels beneath my feet, the smells of the flowers around me, the wind on my skin, the sounds of the birds...

By the time we come back home, I feel more present, grounded, and just happy to be alive.

I call it "Fifteen minutes of loving life."

The grounding potential of singing (Ruben)

Making music and singing can also be grounding. Singing is something which can help you in almost any situation, it sets energy in motion and can really help when you don't feel grounded. A playlist was made in which there are songs which can help ground and restore our connection with the Earth. Listen here!