yoga in Nature
Earth, ocean, sunshine and trees! Silent hills, babbling waterfalls and all the sounds of our fellow beings! If you spend time in nature, you've probably noticed that you feel happier out there than in here.
But why? We need it for our psychological well-being because it's in our DNA. What is it about nature and our relationship to it, that brings us so much joy?
Why I find practising outdoors better than indoors:
You are connected to all living things.
You belong to this Earth. You are part of the community of nature. You are made of the same substance, and you are no better—and no worse—than that bird, that tree, that other human walking up the trail.
Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical well being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. It may even reduce mortality, according to scientists such as public health researchers Stamatakis and Mitchell.
Nature reminds you of who you truly are
You feel comfortable in your own skin, you experience your own quiet peace and strength, you sense the inner you that is the true you. The mask you present to the outer world is irrelevant for a time.
Nature teaches you that there is nothing wrong with you
When you're in nature, you don't have to look in mirrors. Instead, you're either focused on the setting around you, or on what you are doing. Studies show that people's body image improves when we spend time in nature.
Nature displays incredible diversity in all her glory. There are fat trees and skinny ones, short ones and tall ones. Within a single clump of yellow flowers, you might see a pink one and realize that it's a mutation. In nature, we don't say 'How wrong! That flower is different; that tree is fat!' Instead, we say, 'How beautiful!' This impacts us below the level of thought.
In one study, 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outside, changing from depressed, stressed, and anxious to more calm and balanced. Other studies by Ulrich, Kim, and Cervinka show that time in nature associated with a positive mood, and psychological wellbeing, meaningfulness, and vitality.
In addition, nature helps us cope with pain. Because we are genetically programmed to find trees, plants, water, and other nature elements encaging, we are absorbed by nature scenes and distracted from our pain and discomfort.
This is nicely demonstrated in a now classic study of patients who underwent gallbladder surgery; half had a view of trees and half had a view of a wall. According to the physician who conducted the study, Robert Ulrich, the patients with the view of trees tolerated pain better, had fewer negative effects, and spent less time in a hospital.
Time slows down.
Urgency, deadlines and “clock time," as measured by hours, minutes and seconds, melt away. Clocks teach us to abandon the natural rhythms creating a lot of stress.
Outdoors everything is moving according to their natural rhythm, and you begin to do the same.
Nature teaches us about sustainability.
Our culture teaches us that we never have enough. We strive to make more money, buy more things, eat more delicious food.
In contrast, eco systems embody harmony and balance. Trees grow to a height that reflects the nutrients and water immediately available. Squirrels store the right amount of food to get them through the winter.
Nature shows us how to let go of control
Our culture strive us to be as comfortable as possible, to make life as pleasurable possible, and to resist difficulties as much as possible. This has made us unhappier as a people. We simply can't be pleasured or comfortable all the time. We can't control everything. Eventually leading to a dull life that kills the soul.
Nature calls you back to reality. You can't stop it from raining. You can't delay the setting sun. You can't set the temperature to a comfortable 70 degrees..But with this surrender comes such relief! You awake from a dream and realize how little control you really have. You remember that hardship and lack of control are part of life, and accepting this reality makes it not only bearable, but possible to feel the joy of being alive.
These are the reasons why I believe we are so happy in the nature.
This Is the reason I love my yoga outdoors.