We chant OM in order to ground our energy in the present moment. When teaching kids who are brand new to yoga, I am determined to invite them into the wondrous world of all that is yoga without pushing them into a place of spooky sounds, weird ways and stuff completely unrelated to anything they’ve ever known. This mantra is a mode of transportation from where we were in our individual lives moments ago to where we are now – together in yoga.
Since explaining the true meaning of OM may not put all kids at ease, one way to make it less ominous is to give each letter a familiar association. When chanting OM, let O represent the past. The One Outcome that Occurred each instant of your life to lead you to where you are and who you are at this exact moment in time. In other words, once something is in the past, it boils down to the One thing that was, out of all the things that could have been. Let M represent the future. The Many experiences that have yet to unfold. The Mystery of life. When put together, they create the magical moment of NOW. Chant OM and the kids will feel the magic. They will know what we seekers read books about, study philosophy to understand and practice yoga and meditate to experience. That is the truth that the instant you connect to the present moment, you are plugged into the source of unlimited possibilities and power. When you harness this power you are not held back by what you have done in the past or restrained by the expectations you construct for the future. You exist in the magical moment of NOW. This is the juncture where the singular outcomes of the past meet the infinite potential of the future. There is nothing magical about living life based on what you already know. When you ground yourself between the knowledge of the past and the openness of the future, you are free. I believe we embody freedom by fully expressing our individual authentic unique self with absolute awareness that honors the Universal source of our personal manifestation. The magic of being grounded in the moment is that we become the conducting wire through which the intelligence of the universe flows. We are supported, creative, confident, courageous, intuitive and conscious. We are open to the mystery of life because we know we can handle each moment with grace. After all, we know a magic word to invoke the power of the Universe and embody it through our own voice. Take a deep breath and join in.
1. the height to which something is elevated or to which it rises:
2. loftiness; grandeur or dignity; nobleness: elevation of mind.
We believe that the height to which someone is elevated is in direct proportion to the depth in which one is grounded in virtues of the heart. It takes hard work to be a virtuous person and we recognize the accomplishments of our grounded students as they advance in the skill of being grounded.
In our signature Quest for Elevation program, students progress by mastering the concepts and poses of each of our seven sequences, one at a time, like an elevator ride to the top. The first floor is appropriately called Solid Ground. From there, students move up to Honor Roll, Twist and Shine, Balance Beam, Speak Easy, Zoom in and ultimately Together We Stand.
Much like earning belts in martial arts, the students earn pennants through specific achievements. The pennant colors and level requirements correlate with the Chakra System. Each pennant can be used as a peace flag or worn as a bandana. It usually takes between 6 to 9 weeks to earn each pennant. By the time a student earns the final white pennant, he or she has earned the credentials to be named Certified Grounded and will receive a badge. A Certified Grounded student has what it takes to live his or her best life and also the ability to share that gift with others.
The Quest for Elevation is a celebration rather than a goal that they must achieve within a certain time frame. It is non competitive and no stress. Anyone enrolled in a Grounded Yoga class or club taught by an Elevating Grounded Teacher has the option of joining this program.
Through our programs, we endeavor to “ground” kids, teens, and adults via yoga, laughter, and elevation. But what exactly does it mean to be grounded? By formal definition courtesy of the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary….
sensible and down-to-earth; having one’s feet on the ground: mentally and emotionally stable : admirably sensible, realistic, and unpretentious
By empowering kids and teens with the positive aspects of yoga (mind-body awareness, searching for the good in all things, moving with their breath, etc) we aim to heighten or elevate their sense of who they are so they can become more stable physically, mentally, and emotionally. Being grounded brings us back to balanced working order, the way nature intended us to be. When grounded, we know where we belong in ourselves, the earth and in relation to others. We offer you a supported opportunity to ground yourself so that you may teach others how to cultivate this quality.
Depending on the context, grounded has come to mean different things….
From an architectural or building perspective, grounded is defined as:
1. To lay, set, or run, on the ground.
In construction, a house is only as strong as the foundation upon which it is built. The leveling of the plot, followed by the laying of wooden forms along the ground for which concrete footings can be laid, are the first indications that a house is being built. Likewise, the first principle with all of our Grounded programs is to set the foundation. Even before we open to Grace we take the time to align whatever parts of our body is on the ground. Connect your legs, your nervous system to the earth. If we do not do this, we will be without roots and lack the stability necessary for true growth.
From a philosophical perspective, grounded is defined as:
2. To found; to fix or set, as on a foundation, reason, or principle; to furnish a ground for; to fix firmly.
” …. that you being rooted and grounded in love. ” — Ephesians 3:17
That’s what we work on. Get Grounded in love. Get Grounded in a particular skill. Embody your deep talents. Hold your Ground in a difficult situation. When you are disrespectful, scattered and careless you are UN-Grounded. You lose your center, fly off the handle, get swept off your feet, or daydream in a fantasy world. Your attention wonders. You need to get grounded, breathe deeply and take the time to look inside your self. The more grounded we are, the more we respond to life from within rather than react to external events. We know we are part of a larger, natural world. We sense our connections with others.
From aviation perspective, grounded is defined as:
3. Prohibit or prevent (a pilot or an aircraft) from flying.
We Ground planes in order to protect the flying public, to allow for inspections to occur, to have time to make any necessary repairs and to maintain the planes in safe, working order. We do the same with our bodies and minds.
And lastly, from an electrical perspective, grounded is defined as:
4. (Elec.) To connect with the ground so as to make the earth a part of an electrical circuit.
Like any receiver, we need to plug it in before we can safely receive the various frequencies. Grounding is the process of plugging ourselves into the Earth and the world. Grounding kids and teens is similar to grounding outlets. If your outlet doesn’t have three prongs like this, it’s not grounded. Your child needs to have three “prongs” connected; his voice, his heart, and his feet.
Though there are multiple meanings for the word “grounded”, they all in one way or another are in alignment and relative to the goals of our Grounded program. Ground is home. It’s familiar, safe, and secure. It has a power of it’s own. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ says, “There’s no place like home.” She was grounded in her quest to get back to Kansas. She rescues herself and her companions instead of waiting around for a prince. So click your heels and Ground yourself in love and compassion. Getting Grounded is the gateway to freedom. Look down where your feet meet your path. Follow your own yellow brick road. And on your journey, always Ground your shoulder blades into your heart.