From the earliest teachings, it is clear that the practice of yoga and meditation is inherently tied to the land. Since the origin of the practice yogis have travelled across mountains, woods and rivers on their pilgrimage to reach a deeper state of yoga practice. Through scientific and psychological research we have come to understand what our ancestors knew intuitively, the positive effects that nature has on our body and soul.
The goal of yoga is to achieve balance between the mind and body connection. Nature has a divine simplicity, a cause and effect that displays an effortless connection. To immerse ourselves in nature reminds us of our place within all of this and helps us to establish that ease of connection within ourselves. Here is a list of just a few of the many benefits of practicing yoga and meditation in nature.
- A calming effect on the nervous system: To leave behind our often hectic day to day lives and jobs for the tranquillity of nature gives us a break from the stresses that can wreak havoc on our nervous systems. When our nervous system is soothed our bodies can function more optimally, our immune system is stronger and our stress responses are lowered. This brings about a feeling of peace within our bodies and minds.
- Pure oxygen: Much of yoga and meditation practice focuses on breathwork. By consciously breathing in areas of low pollution and purified air we are able to bring pure oxygen into the lungs. This is much more beneficial for healthy lung, heart and brain function.
- Developing our consciousness: When we exist in our natural environment our concentration becomes heightened as our surroundings stimulate our senses. The scents arising from our surroundings, the observation of our view from the mountains or the trees in the woods, the feeling of the breeze against our skin and the sounds of birds tweeting. All of this grounds us in the present moment and enables us to drop into a state of pure consciousness.
Try and find a spot in whatever natural environment you have access to and observe how it makes you feel. Bring a yoga mat to ensure your comfort and sunscreen if you will be out in direct sunlight. Be mindful of leaving the area just in a condition just as clean or even more so than you found it in. Find the ease and harmony of finding space for yourself within nature.