5 Nature Practices that will Help Ground You

A day in the life of an Adventurer

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

Nature is peaceful, nature is calm, nature is serene, nature does not judge, nature just is. Nature by definition is a phenomenon; while it is sometimes manipulated by humans, it exists naturally and organically (again, by definition). There is so much to be learned from nature, there are so many things that we can gain from immersing ourselves in and observing nature. It can be very beneficial to our mental and physical health to submerge ourselves in nature or surround ourselves with it. Here are some awesome tools and methods to help ground and connect with the positive energy of nature. 

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1. Nature Walk– This sounds simple, but its quite spectacular. Just take a walk. Throw on your walking shoes and step outside. Observe the beauty, the trees, the plants, the dirt..etc. Use a mindfulness technique on your walk, simply observing all of your surroundings in a non-judgmental manner. Be aware of all of your senses- the green that attracts your eyes, the smell of the plants, the warm sun or cool breeze on your skin..etc. Take it all in and breathe through it all. This will calm any inner angst you’re feeling and will help you take on some of the traits of the surrounding beauty. 

2. Tree Meditation– Take a seat out in nature, make yourself comfortable and choose a tree or plant to focus on. While beginning your pranayama breathing, notice the way the tree moves with the wind, or is still, do leaves drop from it? Are there bugs crawling on it? Notice how it just is, it bends and moves with the wind, it becomes dry from the heat, thrives in the spring, and all throughout it continues to stand. As you focus on the movements and behavior of the tree or plant, keep focus on your breath and try to mock the example of the plant or tree, focus on just being without effort and breathing through it all. This is an excellent meditation in nature, but can also be done if you’re stuck inside. All you need is a little imagination (or a window).

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3. Hands to Soil– Connecting with the earth can be a very beneficial therapy. Studies have shown that this technique promotes happiness and a sense of well-being. “Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.” )https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/antidepressant-microbes-soil.htm). There is no harm in giving this simple technique a try, you may see some major health benefits as a result. 

4. Yoga in Nature– Yoga on its own is a life changing practice, but add some nature and you are in for a treat. When practicing yoga in nature, you get to experience a calm that you can’t receive anywhere else. Ideally, it is calm, quiet and serene. Most of the time in our practice, we are working to train our minds and bodies to be calm and move with ease, when applying this framework in beautiful and serene backdrop, it is hard to go wrong. The calm surroundings will bring a peacefulness to your practice; while you move, breathe in the air, observe the colors and experience the calm of your environment. Apply that perspective to your practice.

5.Grow a Garden–  “The glory of gardening; hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature…to nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul” – Alfred Austin. 

Gardening is another extremely therapeutic practice and you can incorporate tools #1, #2 and #3 into your gardening as well! Tending to a garden is a very rewarding experience, it takes time and energy but the health benefits are overwhelming. It is a great way of exercising both the body and mind, you are planting, watering, pruning, harvesting, basically tending to the needs of living and growing organisms. The act of taking care of something outside of yourself can have a positive effect on your mood and overall feelings about your life, it is externally centered and helps take the focus off of your own personal problems, even if just for a few moments. Not to mention the benefits of harvest- there is nothing more satisfying than making a meal out of food that you grew and took care of yourself. Plant your seeds and watch them grow, use your free time to tend to your garden, paying close attention to each seedling, get your hands dirty, get some sun, feel the breeze on your back, enjoy every moment. 

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Nature is a wonderful thing to imitate; it surrenders and just is. It does not judge or compare itself to anything else, it thrives and goes with the flow. It’s very important to immerse yourself in the ever-changing and growing serenity that is nature. Learn to mock it, and if you can’t mock it perfectly, try out some of these tips that will get you half way there.

 

Danielle contributed this article to YogiApproved.com

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