Ever wondered why the langar at Sikh gurudwaras are always served while sitting cross-legged? Why the Hindus perform their wedding ceremonies in a mandap on ground, why lakhs of Indians create artwork called kolams or rangolis daily in the morning outside their main doors or why we do bhoomi-pujan or worship the earth before starting construction in India?
There are two ways of figuring it out. One from the holistic and spiritual angle and other from the scientific prism. Each carries enormous weight and begs us to ask why we have forgotten this precious resource which can open the doorway to amazing health and well-being for us, if tapped consciously.
Why Earth Matters
First, the holistic view which considers the earth or ground to be sacred. It is revered as Mother earth who bears the weight of each and everything on this planet. Earth is scientifically the densest planet among all in the entire solar system.
According to the ancient sacred Hindu text of Vedas, earth is one of the 5 key elements or the pancha-bhootas, which are the fundamental building blocks of the Universe. These 5 elements make up everything inside and outside us. Our body is made of these 5 elements namely the sky, earth, water, air and space. Earth element forms solid structures, such as bones, flesh, skin, tissues, and hair in the human body. Nature is made of these elements and earth is the densest of these five elements on which life flourishes.
Earthing Is Scientific
Let’s explore the scientific importance of earth now.
The Earth is electrical in nature. It like a gigantic battery that contains a natural, subtle electrical charge—a special kind of energy present in the ground. Earth’s surface possesses unlimited number of free or mobile electrons. Emerging scientific research supports the concept that the Earth’s electrons induce multiple physiological changes of medical importance in the body.
What is Earthing
Earthing (also known as grounding) refers to contact with the Earth’s surface ( made up of electrons) by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors on the floor that transfers the energy from the ground into the body. For safety and stability, almost everything in the electrical world is connected to earth, whether it is an electric power plant or the refrigerator at home. This is called earthing.
Why Is It Recommended
Lower stress, reduced pain, better sleep, blood-thinning effect, better cardiovascular health, relief in inflammation, better blood circulation are some of the long list of benefits derived from earthing. The research, along with many anecdotal reports, is presented in a new book called Earthing.
- Human beings are bioelectrical being living on an electrical planet. Our body operates electrically. All of our cells transmit multiple frequencies that run, for example, your heart, immune system, muscles, and nervous system. Our bodies soak up the negative electrons of the earth like a sponge to deal with several deficiencies and excesses in the body.
- Body through inflammation, infection, cell damage, trauma, stress, and our toxic environments, generates lots of free radicals. These free radicals force our immune system to respond to these threats. Also we are constantly surrounded by electromagnetic fields of different devices which disrupt the electrical balance of our cells. This imbalance along with other factors can cause some of our most threatening chronic conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic pain syndromes, and autoimmunity.
- Grounding is a simple, inexpensive means by which most of us can combat these destructive forces. The negative electrons absorbed from the earth quenches the free radicals, supports the immune system, and puts out the fires inside the body.
- The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, There is improved assimilation of micro-nutrients like vitamin B12, Vit D, etc. This helps in keeping the body young and mobile, retains lower body strength and stability, nutritious food, and physical activity.
Why Eating on Ground Matters
By now you would have gathered a fair idea of importance of sitting on ground. But are you aware of the benefits of eating your meals on ground? Let’s figure out why?
Photo by Amplitude Magazin on Unsplash
Sitting cross legged on ground for eating is yoga in action: It is called the Sukhasana in Yoga which aids digestion.According to celebrated Indian nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, as the body moves towards the plate on the ground and then back and forth the spine is aligned and shoulders square off which is good for the body.
Its great for weight watchers: Overeating is often the cause of weight gain. It is when we fail to realise if the portion of food eaten has satisfied the stomach or not. This happens through the vagus nerve, which transmits signals from the stomach to the brain. When you have eaten well it will be reflected in a feeling sated by this nerve to the brain. This nerve functions better while sitting and eating on ground, informing the brain well than as compared to sitting on a chair. This prevents overeating.
It gives good blood circulation. Sitting and eating on the floor is healthy for the heart. The heart gets the benefit of better circulation as the blood is easily pumped through the heart to all the organs needed for digestion. When we sit on chair near dining table, the blood flows to the legs as they are lower than the heart. This leads to the heart working overtime to aid good blood circulation which is one of the elements of digestion.
Its good for the lower body, hip and knee joints: Sitting cross legged helps keep the joints flexible, supple and less prone to injuries and degenerative diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis, according to the book ‘Yoga for healing’ by P.S Venkateshwara. As the knee, ankles and hip joints are bending constantly there is more flexibility and hence better lubrication between the joints when sitting .
The benefits of connecting with the earth are mind blowing. Our ancestors knew this wisdom and no wonder they reaped the benefits like longevity, healthy body and sound mental health by walking barefoot, most of the time. Living with nature means respecting it and in turn the nature opened a bounty of gifts which are unlimited to say the least.
The best part is it doesn’t cost a penny! All you need to do is reconnect with the nature. Take your shoes off, feel the wet grass in the garden, sand or just go near a water body and feel the sensation of cooling waters as your feet dig into the earth.
There is another dimension you may like to explore if you are one of those who love meditation like I do. It is the walking meditation which is part of mindfulness practiced in Buddhism. It connects with the ground beneath your feet like no other. It makes you feel one with the earth.
So stay grounded literally! Muddy your feet, smell the sand, soak the water in some river or lake and rejuvenate yourself. The more you know the ground beneath your feet, the more conscious one would be in this maddening race of life.
I hope this blog has been able to make an imprint on the importance of connecting with mother earth who is deeply nourishing, supporting and healing in nature. Do send in your feedback and comments about this blog. Please share it further if you like the content so that more people get access to enriching knowledge. Keep coming back to Let’sfigureoutlife for empowering content.