Yoga is a practice of recognizing the interconnectedness of all things, and skillfully living in harmony. So, naturally, that extends beyond the human family and into the rest of the earth…
I found a new friend today in Audubon Park, behind the zoo in New Orleans’ Garden District. It’s a tree, and a magnificent one at that.
Yes, I consider trees my friends. For one, they breathe us humans and create an environment where we can live. So that’s a practical reason for a grateful relationship.
But beyond that, I admire their beauty and meditative existence. They basically breathe, grow, and drink of water, sunlight and the nutrients in the soil. They are steadfast. Any time I need grounding or need to let go of heaviness, all I have to do is spend a little time with a tree… Meditating under a tree is one of my favorite ways to get centered.
What about you? What aspect of nature do you feel most drawn to?
It’s amazing what is possible when we work with nature, listen to her rhythm, and add symbiotic innovations of human design to more harmoniously co-exist.
Check this out: It is perhaps the most inspiring video I’ve seen in a while!
There is nothing we can’t do when we work together with nature in the flow of life. This project goes a long way in proving that.
The earth is our playground, our constant companion, our teacher. Her children of trees, plants, animals, rivers and so on – these are our extended family here.
Yoga and science both teach us that any violence we do to nature we do to ourselves. And as such, any kindness we extend toward nature also contributes to our own healing.
Next time you’re outside, or gazing out a window, really take in the beauty and wonder around you. Go inside and find a deep connection to trees and other forms of earth.
Here are some ways you can easily offer kindness to this amazing planet:
- Whisper blessings to trees, plants, birds, and any other children of earth you see or think of.
- Conserve water, recycle, bring your own bags to the store, and otherwise waste less of the natural resources in your life.
- Eat less meat (or no meat) – this is one of the most impactful things you can do to help the environment. For real. Look into it and you’ll be surprised.
- Pick up garbage – even just one little piece. It creates a pattern for all of human kind. Actually, anything you do can help reinforce patterns either positively or negatively, so choose your actions accordingly.
- Hug a tree. Yes, I risk being labeled as a tree hugging hippy here. I’m not afraid. Try it and you’ll become a believer too. Just find a tree, wrap your arms around it, and then soften and breathe while opening to the feeling of the tree (this can be in your yard when no one’s looking if you’re uncomfortable with the idea).
And lastly, plant a garden.
Growing your own food, even just a few pots of herbs or lettuces, is so rewarding and brings you into closer relationship with nature.
If it’s winter and you can’t grow outside, nurture plants in your home and plan out your garden for the spring. Research what grows well in your area, or look into different and creative ways to garden.
I do suggest keeping realistic gardening goals, especially if you’re just starting off. My first garden was so big I didn’t have a chance to keep up with it and got a bit discouraged. Better to start small and expand if it’s your first time cultivating the earth, or work with community to create sustainable gardens together.
- What do you do to interact with the earth in a healthy way? Post a comment below and share!