Getting back to nature

Spring is here!

Isn’t it wonderful to see the planet light up each year during the spring season with colorful flower blooms?

I can’t help but feel the surge of creativity all around me reflected through nature.

The planet is really good at inspiring creativity, joy, and happiness.

I watched an inspiring movie recently called Dare to be Wild. It’s a film based on the true story of Mary Reynolds, the Irish landscaper who shares her passion for wild places and forgotten landscapes with the world by competing in a prestigious garden competition. 

Her story brings to the surface the issue of the forgotten connection between us and the planet. She believes that “nature is man; man is nature.” 

I remember my connection to nature. Realizing that the more I understand the importance of a choosing a personal and spiritual practice, the more I am able to reconnect to my own true nature.

In yoga, we have the sandskrit word santosha. Santosha means “joy and contentment.”

Over the course of history, we have learned many behaviors like relying on our devices for entertainment to produce joy, and looking for satisfaction through means of consumerism for contentment in our daily lives.

These things aren’t inherently bad.

It’s just that they have a way of disconnecting ourselves from who it is we really are inside.

I believe yoga can help to reconnect us to ourselves and to the planet.

Yoga takes us on a journey of internal discovery which increases our awareness of feelings; physical, mental and emotionally.

Yoga also increases our awareness of our relationship with the planet. We become more aware of our own natural cycles like circadian rhythms, which are “physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle.” Circadian rhythms are influenced by our environment and exposure to natural sources of light and dark; sun and moon.

Yoga also equips us with the tools for how to care deeply for one another. Community or sangha is something I came to understand through my experiences with fellow yoga students and teachers in class and in teacher training.

Many life long friends have been forged. We support one another on our path of self-discovery. We encourage one another to strive for personal growth and development into our best and truest version of our selves. I’ve also learned the importance of a deep and loving connection to the environment.

To care for the planet means we are also caring for each other’s well being on Earth.

Yoga has taught me the importance of slowing down, letting go of expectations and deeply appreciating my life as it is.

Instead of living on the constant merry-go-round of I’ll be happy when…I have this product, this amount of money, this body or this relationship (this list can go on forever), I find myself being happy with seeing the trees in my backyard, feeling the sun on my skin, wiggling my toes in the water and breathing in fresh air.

I’ve also found from personal experience, that when difficult emotions arise, turning to nature helps me to remember that there is a constant calm energy available to me at anytime. The trees are still there, the sun is still shining and the breath is still flowing in and out of my body.

Santosha is a choice. A great practice to get you started on choosing contentment is the practice of gratitude.

Gratitude is the practice of appreciation and it is a sure quick-fire way to feel happy with who we are and what we have.

It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol – Brene Brown

Just for today, let go of what you are striving for and lean into appreciating the beauty of nature. Our big beautiful planet Earth is here to support us. Feel her love because what we appreciate, appreciates.