Staying in touch with nature balances and heals!
Ayurveda, the most ancient healthcare system, has been around for over 5000 years. During that time it has been updated and adapted for modern living.
One of the things I love the most about Ayurveda and living an Ayurvedic lifestyle is that it makes sense, it supports and nurtures our natural body and doesn’t try to override any systems put in place by nature. Ayurveda promotes the idea that living close to nature is the way to be our healthiest. The more detached we become from nature, the sicker we are. It is simple to reconnect with nature, especially now that Spring has arrived and we can get outside more. Here are three simple tips to get closer to nature, your natural rhythms, and your natural state of being which, according to Ayurveda, is vibrant health.
1 – Wake up with the sun. This doesn’t mean at sunrise, although that is considered ideal. I’m not an early riser or a morning person, but the simple practice of what Ayurveda calls “sun gazing” can help wake you up in the morning, better than caffeine! As soon as you wake, go to an open window or step outside where you can face the sun. Take three deep breaths of the morning air. If the sun is still very low on the horizon you can look near it (not directly at it, especially if it is already high) and move your eyes through their full range of motion. Allow the sunlight to reach as much of your eye as is safely possible.
If you can, take your morning meditation or coffee outside. Ayurveda recommends around 20 minutes of direct sunlight on as much skin as you care to expose, each day. I know that doesn’t go with what your dermatologist says, but if you limit exposure to the early morning, the light can help you support your circadian rhythms and help you feel awake and alert.
2 – Our digestion is at its peak performance mid-day between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Ayurveda recommends having your biggest meal at this time. Also, avoid big meals close to bedtime, preferably three hours before sleep. I know that sounds difficult, but if you make small changes, incrementally increase your intake at lunch and decrease your intake at dinner, especially animal products which are the most difficult for us to digest and fully process, you’ll sleep better. Deep, restful sleep is one of the most important ways to support your health.
3 – Get in touch with nature as much as possible. Spending time outside and truly connecting with nature connects us to the earth’s energy which is balancing and nurturing for our bodies, minds, and spirits. Do you ever work in the garden? Or hike in the forest? When you find yourself in nature, practice mindfulness. Truly be where you are. Use all of your senses to connect with your environment. Take off your headphones and listen to nature’s entertainment: the birds, the sounds of the wind or water. According to Ayurveda, these primordial sounds rebalance your energy and connect you to your inner healing. Look slowly at each plant and animal you encounter, you’ll experience nature’s beauty and feel nourished and appreciative. Touch a tree or a beautiful spring blossom. I don’t advise licking a tree, but by deeply breathing through your nose, you may be able to ‘taste’ nature by focusing on what you sense when you inhale. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, eat the fruit and vegetables right off the vine. The closer your food is to when it was taken from nature the more natural energy you will receive from it!
Your body, mind, and spirit will be nourished by closer proximity to nature.
Pick a practice to try and let me know how it goes!