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In therapy speak, a grounding technique refers to any practice that helps you regulate big emotions—like the 5-4-3-2-1 technique for finding calm through sensory awareness, or soothing breathwork that focuses your attention on your inhales and exhales. Such techniques allow you to find stability amid turbulent feelings, much like a tree uses its roots in the ground to stay upright in a storm. But as I learned on a recent trip to Banyan Tree Veya Phuket (the first property of the hotel group’s new wellness-centric brand, Veya), the concept of getting grounded isn’t just connected to the Earth by metaphor. Literally touching the Earth—that is, by walking barefoot on it—can have grounding benefits all its own.

I already know what you’re thinking: You went to a wellness resort in Thailand, and your most profound experience was taking off your shoes outside. Okay, yes, it sounds like too basic of an activity to have any real wellness benefit, much less one that’s stuck with me months later. But hear me out: Banyan Tree Veya’s “conscious grounding” activity—which involves a simple barefoot walk in a grassy field, followed by the same walk done with eyes closed—is a prime example of earthing (a fancy term for touching skin directly to the Earth’s surface), which some science shows can improve your physiological state of being.

Experiencing the benefits of earthing (aka grounding) at Banyan Tree Veya

While the conscious grounding activity at Banyan Tree Veya is, indeed, a barefoot walk in the grass, it comes with the benefit of some gentle guidance from one of the resort’s well-being experts, Rajesh Thazhe Thatathil, who holds a Master of Yoga from International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, in India.