Jane O’Rourke – 7 Minute Grounded Breathing Exercise

Hello, my name is Jane O’Rourke. I’m a Child, Adolescent and Family Psychotherapist, and I’m a yoga and mindfulness teacher, and today we are going to be doing a grounding exercise.

So if you can find a position sitting down on the floor, or perhaps in your garden or in the park and find a comfortable posture. So, allowing the spine to be nice and tall, and the shoulders sliding down the back. Then I invite you to put your right hand connected to the floor, to the earth, and the left hand over your heart. In this position you can get a sense of the right hand touching the earth and the left hand in touch with yourself and how you are feeling in this moment.

So feeling the steadiness of the earth underneath your right hand and the qualities of the earth that is there, the steadiness, the resilience of the earth… and that is a resource for us, to help us feel steady and calm, and resilient as well. And sensing the breath underneath your fingertips over your heart… and we might need the steadiness of the earth underneath our right hand to feel a steadiness so that we can make an enquiry about how we are feeling. What is your left hand over your heart telling you about how you’re feeling in this moment? There is nothing that you shouldn’t be feeling, it is opening up to whatever it is that is here in this moment. So it is cultivating a curiosity about what is going on at the moment. And if you feel any tension arising, connect with the steadiness of the earth under your right hand as you feel this breath of life moving through your body. And this left hand over your heart is also a gesture of self-compassion, taking care of yourself, connecting in…

And now start to sense the breath through the tip of your nose, meanwhile the right hand is connected to the floor and the earth below. As you breathe in, through the nose and out through the nose… noticing the pause on the in breath and the out breath, and maybe a slight warming of the breath as it leaves the body… Our breath is our lifelong companion, it is with us from the day we are born until the day we leave this earth. So sensing the breath is being a companion in this moment, as you feel a sense of steadiness and calm that is connected to the earth… and your presence in this moment… and if you notice your mind has wandered off just gently bring it back to the focus of the breath at the tip of the nose….

So just taking a few more breaths here before moving out into your daily activities asking yourself what you most need to help in the day ahead… Perhaps it is a sense of connecting in, all this steadiness that is always there. Perhaps just taking a moment just to notice a few more breaths and if the day feels a little overwhelming giving yourself some time and attention.

And then whenever you are ready coming back into the room in your own time.

Jane O’Rourke guides us through a brief mindfulness exercise that connects us with the earth to help us feel resourced and steady. You can try this breathing exercise sitting on the ground as Jane suggests, or sitting in a chair with feet firmly on the ground. If you are sitting in a chair, try moving away from the back of the chair so you can sit nice and tall.

Jane is a yoga and meditation teacher and a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist with children, young people, and families. She teaches yoga for trauma within the Trauma Service at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

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