As the world continues in lockdown you might find yourself with a little bit of extra time to pause and reflect. I recently wrote about how traditional yoga practices can bring us closer to nature in Bloom magazine (spring issue), timely to share today for Earth Day.
Practices from classical and integral schools of yoga involve daily postures, meditations and breathwork exercises that focus on sharpening the senses and honing an all-round awareness of ourselves and of the world around us.
Traditional yogic life, developed by sages thousands of years ago, has always been governed by nature’s rhythms. Sages worshipped the sun through physical sequences such as sun salutation (literally translated as ‘bow to the sun’), and many asanas (poses) are named after animals and natural elements, reflecting the way sages lived close to nature.
The yogis and sages followed Vedic scriptures so considered every aspect of nature as integral to themselves, each other and the whole web of life. They respected nature’s need for balance and in response they developed rituals to cultivate deeper inner and outer awareness of nature.
I’ve slowly realised that you don’t need to live off grid, a monk’s life or even spend hours perfecting your downward dog to tap into this connectivity. Yoga can be lived off the mat, wherever you are.
What does that mean?
Living yoga off the matt means consciously tuning in to what you hear, see and feel during the day, and heightening your awareness of what’s going on around you.
Dialling up sensory experiences means we’re more likely to notice nature all around us, even in the whirl of city life.
When the beauty of the natural world lies in the details, hurrying can only leave us disconnected. That’s why the old yogis were so concerned with pausing and observing.
It’s only when we slow down that we have a chance to connect with our environment, others, and ultimately ourselves. There’s no better time than now to do this.
You can read the full article in Bloom magazine, issue 5 here.
Bloom is a magazine for gardeners, plant admirers, nature lovers, curious explorers and outdoor adventurers. It is beautiful and useful; it looks lovely and it works hard; it makes you muse on the handsomeness of nature and it inspires you to get out there and be a part of it.
Bloom is for anyone with a passion for nature: so dig in, whether you have a garden, a balcony or a windowsill.
£8 per issue or subscribe for £26 for three issues + free shipping www.bloommag.co.uk