Breathing Into Nature And Why it Matters
by John Stamoulos - Master Breathwork Trainer
When you listen to falling rain, walk in a forest, turn your face to the sun, interact with the animal or plant kingdoms, you are connecting with the life-giving energy in the universe known as Nature.
To lift your spirits spend time with Nature. She will lend you her power until you become aware of your own ~ Spiritual Bliss
The dynamic relationship between mankind and Nature is an unbreakable bond that sustains, nurtures and heals us. We are part of the shared community of all living beings and as such, are intimately engaged with the flow, breath and being of Nature.
Global urbanization (UN study says over 50% of world population lives in cities), hyper-focus on technology, busy schedules, materialism and consumerism all offer less access or connection to nature. This can result in adverse effects on spiritual, mental and emotional well-being.
Alienation from nature led author and environmentalist, Richard Louv , to coin the term “nature-deficit disorder” (NDD) to describe this modern life issue. He believes that the more we become involved with technology, the more vital it is to stay connected to nature.
Our creativity, sense of adventure, free time to play and our ability to just ‘be’ are suffering.
Our NDD has encouraged more sedentary lifestyles, less daily focus and presence, and less appreciation or awareness of the need to be in touch with nature’s rich biodiversity.
A ‘soul’ consequence of this disconnect can generate (conscious or not) feelings of being split off from a significant part of life. It can manifest as a sense of feeling ‘empty’, like something is missing, or experiencing isolation, loneliness, depression, or anxiety.
Transformative Benefits of Connecting with Nature
Studies have shown that re-acquainting with Nature can increase creativity, refresh your focus and cognitive abilities as well us help you cope with pain, illness, stress and anxiety. In nature, life slows down. You can find a new rhythm that stops overactive thinking, shifts frenzied interactions with self and others and generates greater empathy, kindness and respect for all life forms.
10 Ways to Rediscover Nature and Improve Your Well-Being
- walk slowly and notice the nature around you
- be barefoot outdoors
- become a cloud watcher
- soak in the vitality of trees through touch
- touch, smell and observe the spirit of a flower or plant
- face and absorb the warmth and light of the sun
- exercise outdoors rather than indoors
- sit by a running river or waterfall to absorb uplifting negative ions
- take a peaceful immune-system boosting walk in the woods
- add Nature to your living environment (pictures, colors, plants, gardens)
The Breath and Nature
Breath is life. It is the rhythm of the earth’s energy that reinforces your communion with your environment.
‘Exchanging Breath with Nature’ Meditation
- Find a favorite place in Nature where you can sit comfortably and let your mind and body settle and relax.
- Breathe in - mindfully breathing in the natural life force that surrounds you –this is Nature’s exhale. Let this life force fill you with gratitude and peace.
- Breathe out - breathing out love into Nature, knowing that Nature is breathing in your exhale.
- Continue with this exchange of life force, spirit, and breath with Nature for as long as you want. Pay attention to what opens up in you and enjoy the feeling of gratitude, reverence and love for all life that grows from it. Realize that your heart and spirit contributes to this experience.
- Carry this awareness with you throughout your day.
We are not separate or independent from Nature.
Nature is in us, around us and is connected to us by our very breath. It is our ally and loving presence that holds us, nurtures us and mirrors who we truly are.
Being in right relationship with Nature demands our presence and seeks our respectful, heart-based footprint upon it.
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