Grounding Poses

More than 5 years ago, Marybeth Hamilton and I created a 12-week curriculum based on the principles of trauma sensitive yoga and mindfulness with the aim of helping people strengthen their capacity for resilience.  Since then, we have taught EMBER to hundreds of students, trained over 100 teachers in weekend trauma sensitive workshops* and over 50 additional teachers in the EMBER 100hr advanced certificate course.

Here are three ways, among many, that we’ve seen Yoga help to build resilience in our students:

1.      Yoga teaches students how to shift their perspective.

2.      Attention to breath, sensation and poses creates a framework for noticing impermanence – recognizing that change is a part of life.

3.      Yoga poses and breathwork offers portable tools for self-regulation – GROUNDING being chief among them.

Here are 4 Yoga Poses to experience GROUNDING in your own body:


Mountain Pose

Let your attention be drawn to your feet and feeling whatever surface is under them. You might press your feet down, or wiggle your toes to bring a bit more sensation.



This pose has the potential for grounding the front side of your body. Gently press your feet down as you simultaneously press your palms into the mat. Go for a gentle, even pressure. No gripping or strain. If it feels better, you might even let your forehead come down to the mat and stay for a couple breaths in this shape.

adho mukha w block and blanket.JPG

Downward Dog

Downward Dog with heels on folded blanket and head on a block. You will likely need to play with this pose a bit to get it just right. Aim for your head to meet the block at your hairline. Blanket can be folded and positioned to set right beneath your heels. This pose is active, reaching through both hands, pressing through both heels – while you continue to breathe and allow the sides of your neck to be relaxed.


Simple Cross Legged

Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position(or bring the soles of your feet together in front of you). Place a blanket over your lap and a block beneath each knee. You could take a moment to rub your feet or simply enjoy a few quiet breaths here.

*Our next weekend workshop is in November, 2019. (link )