As I write this, there's a bunny reclining on the lawn just outside my window looking mighty relaxed. In fact, the little fuzzy one looks so content that I'm tempted to go outside and join him (or her). After a few weeks of soggy weather, the sun is finally shining and the bunny is not alone in enjoying the drier weather and taking in the sun -- I found myself heading outside at the sun's first peek out of the clouds as well. There's nothing like feeling the sun's rays soak into your body and feeling the earth under your feet.
When I was a kid, I was always running around barefoot. Then my mom, after being deluged with child development shoulds, fretted over my developing feet, thinking they were in need of support and slapped shoes on me. It wasn't until well over a decade later that I found yoga and the shoes came off once again. I often get requests to review non-slip yoga socks but I always refuse, as I can't bear to have anything between my yoga mat and my feet.
A few years back, I got a pair of Vibram Five Fingers so that I could enjoy the feel of being barefoot while maintaining some protection for my tender tootsies. These days, I'm intrigued by the concept of grounding. The idea of tapping into the Earth's healing energy makes sense to me, and I saw enough information on the topic that I figured "what the heck" and gave it a try. Now when I sit at my desk or lie in bed at night, I used a grounding pad/Earthing mat. The first time I used the mat, I was slept deeper than I ever have before. Taking that as a positive sign, I continued to use the mat (and I'm noticing quite a boost in my energy level).
While I'd ideally like to walk around outside barefoot for a bit each day (it's not uncommon to see my doing a short backyard yoga practice barefoot in the grass), it's not always possible. That's when I started to wonder if there was such a thing as a grounding shoe -- after all, if there was a barefoot show, there must be a grounding shoe, right? The folks over at Juil read my mind, as they recently launched a whole line of sandals (for both men and women) that "rejuvenate your body and spirit" by using Energy Flow Technology. The sandal insoles and uppers are crafted with quality copper insets to keep you grounded.
I've been wearing my Juil sandals for a few weeks now and I must say that there is a bit more of a spring in my step. The first few times I wore them, I noticed a bit of a buzzing sensation in my feet. The truth is, these sandals are so lovely that I would buy them even if they didn't have the Energy Flow Technology. With 5 different styles for women and 3 different styles for men, the sandals come in a wide variety of styles and colors (my favorite is pewter -- it has plenty of pizzazz and goes with just about everything). Although I was a bit wary of taking the company's advice and ordering the next whole size down (the sandals aren't made in half sizes), my concern was for naught. The sandals fit perfectly (and are extremely comfortable). They also arrived very quickly and were packaged in a environmentally-friendly and extremely cool-looking box (that I've saved for another use).
Sure, some of my friends laugh at me, thinking I'm a little woo-woo about this, but they sure have been complimenting my sandals. I always say the same thing to the judgers -- try it before you disregard it.
If you'd like to hear David Wolfe speak passionately on the topic of grounding and its effect on our health, check out these videos:
Here's another video on the topic -- How Important is Grounding and Earthing to Your Health?
If you fall into the woo-woo category, no worries -- you can also explore the concept of grounding in yoga. If you'd like to feel more grounded both physically and emotionally, start with yoga for your feet. And as Spring turns into Summer, stay grounded with this fantastic yoga practice that will help you through the transition of the seasons.
This holiday weekend, why not kick off your shoes and let your feet touch the earth (or how about taking a page from my book by doing your yoga practice on the grass without a mat)? I know that's what I'll be doing (I'll be near the beach, so my feet will be buried in the sand).