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The 1, 2, 3: A Simple Exercise to Ground Yourself

Learn to Ground Yourself in the Present Moment

Today I wanted to share another one of my favorite exercises with you. It’s something I have been practicing and sharing with clients for years, but I had never given a formal name to.

Recently, on a retreat, I took a yoga class with relaxation specialist, Sibyl Buck. She introduced the 1, 2, 3 and it stuck. I appreciated it because it was simple and easy to remember. It also rhymes (don’t ‘cha love it when that happens).

So, without further delay, here it is. Use it whenever you need to ground or center yourself in the present moment. It’s especially helpful when you need to relax but are having a hard time getting there.

The 1, 2, 3:

  1. Ground

  2. Breath

  3. Sound

1. Ground: The ground or surface beneath you is always something you can rely on. No matter where you are or what you are doing, there is always something supporting you.

Whether you are sitting, standing, or lying down, bring all of your awareness to the ground beneath you. Notice all the points of contact the body makes with the chair, couch, floor, or earth. Allow yourself to relax your muscles and release any tension or holding. Sink into the ground even more.

2. Breath: Just as you can count on the ground to support you, you can also count on the breath. Without you even thinking about it, you are always breathing. The breath brings fresh oxygen to the lungs, muscles, and tissues. It brings nourishment. You can access the breath anytime, anywhere, and it is free.

Bring your awareness to the breath. There is nothing to do or change about the breath; you are simply noticing it. Allow the breath to be as it is; simply focusing on the inhale and the exhale. Allow this to bring you more fully into the present moment. Let it usher you into what is.

3. Sound: Sound is one more thing you can always open yourself to. Even if your environment is seemingly filled with silence, you will begin to hear sound as you focus your attention on it.

Bring your awareness to any sounds that surround you. This may be a ticking clock, the sound of birds, the sound of cars passing by, dogs barking, or muffled voices. Notice the sounds with equanimity. In other words, see if you can notice the sounds without going into judgment or story.

And there you have it! A mindfulness practice that really is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

I hope you enjoyed this exercise. For another mindfulness-based exercise for grounding, go here.

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