This take away from camp that I practice at home comes courtesy of Josey Laughlin. I loved that she was always running around barefoot, and I’d find her shoes all over camp. It reminded me of growing up next door to her mother and how we’d toughen up our feet for summer by walking on Jenni’s gravel driveway. Here her daughter was doing the same thing, at camp. How liberating and free she looked playing with her exposed toes!
Well, it turns out that walking barefoot outside has a lot of benefits. It’s called grounding or earthing. The research, thermal images, of subjects before and after grounding show better heart health, muscle healing, pain reduction, and mood improvement. No wonder Josey always had a smile on her face!
I’m guessing this is why walking on the grass or sand is so pleasant. We are absorbing energy and healing from Mother Earth. Who hasn’t spent a pleasant day at the beach digging their toes into the sand at the edge of the water? You get the additional benefit of healing from the ocean.
At home, I stand in our teeny tiny patch of grass, in the early morning. The dogs take care of their business and I wiggle my toes into the blades. Firmly planting my feet to balance myself, I look up at the sky and clouds. Reaching my arms overhead, I join the dogs in a stretch. I bend at the waist, bowing to the mountain, and plant my hands down.
Now, I’ve doubled my contact with the earth.
Some other healing benefits are stress reduction, better sleep, and more energy. Moving between a few sun salutations, I start to wake. The dogs roll around on their backs and start to paw at my hands. They are ready to be fed and go for their walks. I step off the grass appreciative that I had a few moments to get grounded before I face the rest of my day.