I am not a typical outdoor person, nor do I generally like to practice asana outside, yet I do appreciate what being in nature does to my body, mind and soul.
Our hectic lives are too often centered around looking at a screen all day and can become toxic to our physical and emotional well-being. Even the fact that I am inspired to write an article listing reasons to connect to nature shows that we are somewhat detached and consider ourselves separate from the natural world surrounding us. But in truth we are one with all that surrounds us! And consciously unplugging ourselves from our busy lives - including our smart phones - and getting a 3-D experience of nature can reconnect and recenter us profoundly.
We all have an idea about the importance of our ecosystem for our health and well-being. Yet a lack of actually immersing ourselves in nature is detrimental to our inner serenity, happiness, creativity, and health. Disconnection from nature allows us to forget what „natural" feels like. And without a deep certainty that we, nature and the earth as a whole are One, we are much less likely to create a lifestyle that supports a healthy environment in the future.
So why not choose to spend some time in nature today. Switch off your phone and don't even listen to music, just be with yourself and fully soak up the natural environment - may it be in the woods, up on the mountains, on the seaside or whatever is closest to where you are right now . You will be amazed about the subtle yet profound effects.
And the best thing about nature is: it's free! The only investment is your time, which you will most likely get back by stronger focus, fresh ideas and a better functioning body.
Here are three great reason why being in nature benefits you:
1. Being in nature sharpens and clears your mind
Imagine that your greatest ideas are already inside you, yet you cannot see them with all the irrelevant infos that we absorb each day. Your greatest ideas will appear, when all of the noise in your head has become still. Being in nature amongst the natural sounds, minor worries naturally disappear and the fog of information overflow will disappear - allowing your innert greatness to emerge. Furthermore, various studies have looked into the effects of being in nature and found a higher problem solving capacity, improved mood and increased memory and attention.
2. Being in nature relaxes and destresses your body
Being in nature benefits our body on so many levels. Our body's functions have developed over millions of years in a natural environment so all the body's programs are based on its natural inputs. Being detached from all technology, breathing clean air and having only natural frequencies around you rejuvenates the cells and aids in recovery and healing, releases muscle tension and strengthens your immunity - and all of that on autopilot: you don't have to do anything but BE.
3. Being in nature strengthens your sense of purpose
Seriously ask yourself how closely connected you are to our planet Earth! And I don't mean in a general sense of „I am grateful to live on this planet - it's so beautiful". I mean in the sense of being aware of the preciousness of our planet which informs your daily decisions from using less plastic, shopping locally, choosing ecofriendly products and cleaning up after yourself. We are all aware of the effects of certain products and the harm that behaviors like industrial animal agriculture have on the health of the whole planet. Yet to keep this awareness present and let it inform your daily decisions - small and big - requires a very directly felt awareness, an experience of nature in all parts of our bodies.
We are ONE with nature, we breathe and eat nature and our trash merges with nature, so let's keep that in perspective and act purposefully in our lives. We are part of something beautiful. Let's act in a way that preserves this beauty for the generations to come.
Photos: Sandra DB & Sanjin Kastelan