For the vast majority of our 200,000-year existence as trendy humans, we’ve got been nomadic hunters and gatherers, immersed in nature. We co-evolved with nature; we were shaped, influenced, and adapted to interact and resonate with the wild. Being in nature even a relaxed rehearse a meadow, a hike in the forest, or a paddle on a lake—allows us to come back to relationship with our original blueprint, nutritive our senses and our souls with a symphony of stimulation that grounds us firmly in the moment.
Recent analysis suggests that “dis-ease,” usually presenting as depression, stress, insomnia, and/or attention deficit disorder, may be symptoms of what author Richard Louv terms “nature deficit disorder.” Japan has been well ahead of the curve in recognizing this and, in the 1980s, developing and prescribing a nature medical aid known as shinrin-yoku, that translates as forest bathing, to assist restore balance. Time spent in nature, particularly in forests wealthy in conifers, exposes us to a class of naturally occurring, extremely beneficial chemicals known as phytoncides, that are shown to reduce blood pressure and the stress hormone corticoid, and improve immune function by building the natural killer (NK) cells that fight sickness. These results are lasting and measurable up to a month following a single two-hour forest bathing experience. If we perform yoga in the midst of a forest replete with white pine and hemlock, we can reap these advantages whereas walking through the woods or drifting on the lake close to the tree-lined shore.
In outside programs, you can enjoy yoga and nature together in a method that dissolves the boundaries between them. You can expertise all the gifts of the follow within the nurturing embrace of sunshine, wind, water, and earth. Imagine winding your way down a leafy timbered trail, pausing beneath a stand of hemlocks to move into balancing half Moon or Tree pose—opening the intercostal muscles to extend lung capability thus you’ll be able to drink the revitalising phytoncide-rich air. Or practicing Sun Breaths or floating meditation in a kayak, as you’re carried effortlessly by the breeze across the waters of Lake Mahkeenac. Nature connection diminishes our level of disturbance and will increase our sphere of awareness, bringing us nearer to our ancestral world and to ourselves.
Transitioning from the indoor yoga studio to the floating kayak or paddleboard also can ignite a welcome state of playfulness that typically has gone dormant in our adult lives. Play is a very important a part of being human at any age. Scientists have found that being playful relieves stress, unlocks creativity, forms new neural pathways, nurtures association, and cultivates empathy.
Seeing how effortlessly yoga interprets into the outside environment evokes us to bring the practice into other aspects of life, and reminds us of our deep and timeless roots in nature.
Content credit: TUBIDY