Let’s Get Grounded
Mar 25, 2022 - Meghan Pickrell
I lie on the floor daily. This developed from my early years as a dancer. The first thing dancers do when they get into the studio is lie on the floor and stretch. There’s not a lot of money in dance, thus the floors we learned to lie upon were not the cleanest. It makes me chuckle to think of the airport floors I’ve laid upon throughout the years. The thing is, it’s that good. Lying on the ground (and stretching!) feels so good that it doesn’t matter the conditions. I have also found getting on the floor to be helpful in coping with stress related matters like getting through a headache, addressing anxiety, relieving sciatic pain and more. If you feel all bound up and tight, give the floor a chance. You will feel better after.
Here’s why you should be getting on the floor everyday:
Lying on the floor aligns your back and pelvis. Sometimes after acupuncture I am left wondering if I feel aligned solely because I was lying flat on my back and breathing for 40 minutes. Lying on the ground (or a firm surface like a massage table) organizes your pelvis and aids your back in finding a neutralizing posture. Think about lying down in a symmetrical way so that if I painted a line down the middle of your body there would be two equal parts. This may be the only time your body is truly symmetrical all day. Treat this time as a nice gift to yourself. In my virtual studio classes, I encourage you to think about organizing your bones in several postures – on your back, on your sides, and on your belly. The workouts in the Strength collection – Front Body Series, Back Body Series and Side Body Series, were purposely created around balancing the body for an effective workout.
You can relax in stillness or while you are in motion. Assuming a static ‘constructive rest position,’ on your back, relaxes the body and mind. Gently rolling and rocking your body on the floor affects your connective tissue, acts like a massage and relaxes your body. You feel anchored and supported. (I could write an entire article about the benefits of rolling on the floor but instead I added the class above so that you can try rolling with me!). Please try the class above to give rolling on the floor a try.
It Gets Harder as We Age
That which you do not practice, becomes foreign. If you aren’t regularly moving your body through full ranges of motion, you become stiff. Moving from standing to lying and vice versa requires a certain range of motion in your hips and back. As you age, getting on the floor becomes more challenging. If you’re reading this and in your 30s or 40s this might sound ridiculous to you. But for some elderly clients lying on the floor is an ordeal. A priority for all of my clients is the ability to get down on the floor….and get back up with ease.
Whether you are lying on the floor to relax and breathe or to do a pilates mat class, I encourage you to make the floor part of your fitness practice. It’s a simple, available and effective way to serve your body. Try the class above or just lie on the floor, breathe and unwind!