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UPDATE 2015: Sadly, Juil decided to close their doors earlier this year. I was SO bummed when they emailed me to say they were closing. They did not disclose to the public why they closed, other than they needed to regroup and decide what direction (if any) to take the company. Hopefully they will come back at some point in the future. I sure do miss them and their super comfy shoes. 🙁
I am constantly getting asked what earthing shoes I recommend and I honestly have not tried any other brands. I did find this brand on Amazon for those who may want to explore new options.
Editor’s Note: Please welcome David Gelfand from Juil.com to the site today. Juil is one of my most trusted affiliate partners and I have been a big supporter of their products and mission for a number of years now.
Today, David stops by to share a great article on yoga and earthing. Some of you may know that I am a huge yoga fan and this article not only discusses the health benefits of yoga, but also how earthing plays a role in your practice as well. I have a steady morning yoga practice, but I do not often get the chance to go outdoors and practice. I will have to change that! 🙂
If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits of yoga, check out these posts:
- The Benefits of Yoga: What the Research Says About its Use for Common Health Problems
- Yoga for Women’s Hormonal Health with Dr. Sara Gottfried
- Non-Toxic Yoga Mat Cleaner
- Why I Love Yoga, Part 1
- Why I Love Yoga, Part 2
You can also read my formal reviews of Juil’s products here:
Yoga and Earthing – A Wellness Inspired Practice
Whether you’re in class, getting onto your yoga mat, or just getting home from work, it’s not uncommon to overhear someone talking about “getting grounded.”
Two common associations with the term “grounded” are either the punishments you received as a child or a critical suggestion that you need to level out.
While these associations are accurate, they miss the core of what grounding is all about.
In practice, grounding is a mechanism seen on three levels. It’s:
- A physical connection to the earth beneath you
- A shift in mental focus, allowing you to center your thoughts
- Whatever brings your mind and body to ease in the here and NOW
Grounding yourself is a mechanism by which you’re able to stabilize your energies, center your mind, and focus on the moment. As a result, you’re able to take a deep breath, step back, and focus on YOU for that very moment (no matter the time and place).
Incorporating the practice of grounding into your life can be done any number of ways, but one of the most recognized and impactful is through the practice of yoga.
Through certain yoga poses, this sort of grounding presents your body and mind with the opportunity to release anxieties and physically root yourself to the earth.
The root chakra, in particular, is based entirely on how our bodies are connected to the earth and acts as a natural energy pathway. Through the root, base chakra (pulling from the earth through the feet and into the lower spine), the body maintains an entry point for universal energies and sustains a healthy foundation for your bodily function.
It’s not surprising that, with this concept in mind, Chinese tradition holds a heavy focus on strengthening and sustaining this root point.
Earth Qi represents the patterns of energy and the earth’s magnetic field that we are surrounded by. Many exercises that are meant to strengthen the body and mind, including yoga, are done barefoot.
A central practice within Chinese tradition includes the growing of a “root.” The Kidney 1 point (also known as the “yong quan point”) involves the opening of a conduit and connection between the earth’s surface and a person’s feet/body.
With yoga as a grounding mechanism, you’re forced to rely on both your mental focus and connection to the earth in order to sustain a balance. A few poses that are particularly helpful in grounding (both mentally and physically) include:
- Mountain Pose
- Tree Pose
- Downward Facing Dog
- Child’s Pose (an all-time favorite)
If yoga isn’t always an option given your hectic schedule, don’t worry – there are other options. What’s most important to remember is that grounding is what works for YOU. Just because the downward dog is what grounds your neighbor, that doesn’t mean it’s the only option out there.
While grounding is partly psychological, it’s also physical and can be done very easily by stepping outside.
Our bodies desperately yearn for a healthy connection to nature and to the earth. This connection is what nurtures us, it keeps us alive and energized. More importantly, this connection with nature reminds us what an immaculate world we have around us.
As humans, we spend far too much time insulated in our synthetic environments and disconnected from the outside world. This disconnect poses significant risks to our health and well-being.
Establishing that root, absorbing the earth’s energies and grounding yourself is done most easily when barefoot.
Recent studies and medical professionals have begun to call this practice Earthing. By creating a direct connection to the earth (going barefoot), your body is able to absorb the Earth’s limitless supply of free electrons. These electrons, studies suggest, act as antioxidants and work by stabilizing and neutralizing harmful free radicals that results from inflammation, injury and/or toxins.
Various industries have begun to take notice as well, creating a variety of Earthing products to maintain this sort of connection.
Earthing shoes have recently entered the realm of medical study and footwear production. Earthing or grounding products are designed to help our bodies regain natural balance and stability on a molecular level.
To learn more about the principles of Earthing and how they can impact your well-being, download this free Earthing eBook.