July: Reconnecting with Mother Nature

Spending my weekends in the Rax Alpen, which are only one and a half hours away from Vienna, I feel overwhelmed by a sensation of joy and peace, as I feel myself completely surrounded by nature. The long days of summer bring us the opportunity to venture out and explore the beautiful nature, that Austria has to offer. The weather is finally getting warmer. And after the recent restrictions created for us humans, we can now feel the outdoors more alive than ever before. The animals have become less shy, the birds sing much louder and there is less pollution in the skies.  So let us be fully embraced by it. To let its colors, sounds, smells, and shapes recharge us with its energy. To let ourselves be nurtured by the peaceful and compassionate force of Mother Earth.

Mother Earth is that feminine, healing and creative energy, that is revered by most cultures around the world. She gives us and sustains our life. Without her we cannot exist – she is our foundation of life. Therefore, we need to protect her, we need to value her, we need to visit her and pay our respects towards her. In the Andean Mountains (my home), Mother Earth has long been a divine force, and probably no other culture has given it so much importance as the Incas

In the Q’ero Inca tradition, Mother Earth is called Pachamama. She is the mother of all life on Earth and is responsible for the creation of all living substance. In the Quechua language, Pachamama has various interpretations. It means “womb” or the source of creation. It also means mother of all space and time..[1]

Thus, Pachamama is not only connected to the land and our planet, but it is the reason for existence and the cycle of life within the space continuum. She creates, nurtures, feeds and oversees us, as we go through birth, life and death. She is always there as the witness of our lives and all life. She is always there to feed us and does so, whether or not we are aware of it[1].

Because Pachamama is the source of life, we want to encourage you to reconnect or reawaken your connection with nature. By coming back into the nature, it is a way to feed your soul and also bring healing to you and to the planet through love. “If you are feeling ungrounded or disconnected from nature, yourself or other people on this planet, the simple fact of spending some time outside in the natural environment will help you to bring back that connection. You will become rooted and grounded through the Earth. The result of this brings you much more energy, because your energetic field is not only recycling through itself, but instead it is drawing and exchanging energy from the ground (the earth energy), which is immense. Thus, you become more stable and balanced as well. You gain purpose in life as Mother Earth’s love is given to you unconditionally. You begin to feel that you are never alone. You are supported and full of energy, that you need to survive and thrive.”1

But you might be wondering, how do you reestablish that connection to Mother Earth? As we said before, you simply need to go out into nature and let yourself be embraced by it. Without distractions, without being constantly interrupted by your phone. Just simply be present. To listen, to see, to hear, or to feel her magic. “Nature will quieten your mind, open your heart and invite ease into your body. You will feel the living connection with life all around you, giving you the capacity to open up to something that is much bigger than yourself. Through nature you will transform, awaken, heal and even get a boost in creativity, health and quality of life.”[2]

Therefore, in these coming summer months, we would like to invite you, to start reconnecting with nature. It is not always an easy thing to do, but that doesn’t mean you are not capable of trying. Below we like to share a few simple ideas, from Megan Roop, that can help you get reacquainted with Mother Earth. It is best to leave the comfort of your own home and explore the wild, natural world, but if you don’t have the time or the access, she has included a few suggestions for indoor activities as well.

  1. Make contact with the earth

Go outside, take off your shoes and socks and sink your bare feet into the grass. If it is wet or muddy, then find a tree and place your palm on the trunk. You can even give it a big tree-hug if you’re feeling the love; just lean in and wrap your arms around it.

  1. Play in the dirt

Tend to a veggie patch or an herb garden, play in the sand or make mud pies with little ones. Just as sinking your bare feet into the earth will ground you, so will digging into it with your hands.

  1. Bring nature indoors

Buy some houseplants, keep a jar of fresh flowers, put a crystal on your desk, place a jar full of seashells and sand in your living room, or start a pinecone collection. Bring nature to your home and you will feel how the room becomes more peaceful, more harmonious.

  1. Wake up with nature

Upon waking, open your window and stand in front of it. Look outside and take in all the beauty of nature. Breathe in the colors, shapes, textures and sounds. Notice the color of the sky, the shapes of the clouds and the sounds of the birds, the greens of the leaves. Allow the natural world to ground you into the here and now.

  1. Kiss the earth with your feet

One of the best quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us to slow down and notice nature, “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” The next time you walk out your front door, feel your feet connecting with the earth, step by step.

  1. Do yoga

Yoga is all about the connection with nature. When we practice yoga, we are emulating the animals and elements of the earth through the asanas we do. So, the next time you are in Tadasana, the mountain pose, try to really feel the qualities of the mountains, while being in the posture. Or when you are doing an animal pose, like Bhujangasana (cobra), Ustrasana (camel), Badhakonasa (Butterfly), etc., connect to the expression and playfulness of the animals. Become the animal and you realize we are all one.

As you can see, connecting to nature does not mean you have to go to “far away land”, or climb to the top of a mountain. You simply need to let nature be, where you find it and where it is the easiest for you to access. Or simply connect to nature through the yoga postures. So, get outside, do yoga and start reconnecting with nature, yourself and others through Mother Earth.

Namaste!

written by Jonathan Rivas, from Venezuela, manager Bali Yoga Wien

 

[1]  Source: http://www.internationalspiritualexperience.com/inca-shamanism-healing/mother-earth-pachamama-connection

[2] Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14917/5-ways-to-reconnect-with-nature.html


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