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Practicing yoga in nature and among the trees brings us back to our roots
By Marianne Taylor
When was the last time you stood still and looked at a tree from the bottom of its weathered trunk up through the variance of its branches? Depending on the type of tree, time of year, the age of the tree, where it’s located and what it’s been through, there can be a lot to take in as you bear witness to its life.
If you’ve experienced this, you may have found there is much to be learned from a tree—but only if you take the time to notice. From saplings to giants, trees stay and survive the weather without much fuss. They are loyal and giving. Without trees, it would be difficult to breathe, as they gift us immeasurable amounts of oxygen and life. Homes for many, fruits for all.
Spending time in the opulence of nature can be a salve for healing, connecting and transforming the mind and body. The simple act of getting away and allowing for a bit of quietness in nature can open your senses to an entirely different symphony that often plays in the background of our busy lives.
The natural system of healing, called Ayurveda, dates back more than 5,000 years and originated in India. It relies upon local land for medicinal and energetic healing effects. Just as in India and other parts of our world, nature is all around us, calling us to return, connect and heal. Thinking among an environment of trees, taking in a deep breath of rich, fresh oxygen and in exchange, releasing carbon dioxide, helps to create the life force of a tree. Who is to question whether we are breathing gifts from the trees into our internal or whether the trees are breathing us as our external? This simple yet powerful union with nature is an unspoken contract—a partnership—and a support to each other. I’ll take care of you if you take care of me.
Take an already nourishing environment and now consider adding the element of yoga. Yoga is an ancient science of connecting all things but simplified into connecting the mind, body and spirit (or nature). Yoga has many branches, just as trees do, and practicing asana, or postures, in nature or under the trees can be a beautiful union.
Yoga, much like a tree, can teach us invaluable lessons about ourselves. Yoga practice allows for stretching, balancing and building strength in our mind and body; trees teach us how to trust the timing of nature, to bend and not break, and to know when to drop the heaviness of dead leaves. When we look at trees, we don’t analyze how we can change them; we just accept them as they are. With yoga, we do the same with ourselves. Practicing yoga in nature among the trees not only pumps the body full of the freshest quality oxygen available, but allows us to honor our truest nature, among nature.
When one practices yoga in nature, there can be a lot to take in as you bear witness to life. When one is enveloped by the exact rhythm of nature, the symphony, if you will, connects the mind, body and spirit, creating a masterpiece not to be missed.
Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens and Yoga Trippin’ have partnered up to offer the experience of practicing yoga in nature. Come stand among the opulence, breathing, receiving, giving and honoring your truest nature.
We invite you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. to come practice yoga under the trees. Give what you can by donation. In return, you give yourself the gift of connecting with your truest nature and nature itself.
Marianne Taylor, of San Juan Capistrano, is the founder and executive director of Goin Native Therapeutic Gardens, a 501(c)(3) teaching gardening and life skills as a way of empowering, engaging and connecting people. Goin Native focuses on educating local families, special needs adults, seniors, at-risk youth and members of the military. Find out more at www.goinnative.net.