With spring comes warmer weather, the sounds of birds chirping, sunshine, and rain. There’s a bustling of activity as people emerge from hibernation anxious to feel the sun on their faces and breathe in a new wave of fresh spring air. There’s a fundamental reason for this increased activity and it’s the essence of life.
The life force, or Prana, within you is calling out to touch and rejoin itself in the forms of the world around you. Everything is springing back to life, and a healthy human being is no different. For those who sometimes deal with depression or apathy toward life, spring can be a healing time of year. In Ayurveda, it is taught that the environment is an extended part of your body—a necessary and extremely important part of your mind-body makeup and an extension of your consciousness. Like every other part of your being, it’s healthy for you to give time and attention to this extension of your body. This means spending time in nature and attuning yourself to the world you call home.
The air around you is the first connection you have to your environment. Breathe it in. While in nature take long, deep, satisfying breaths and allow your inner body to soak in the nourishment. Breathe out fully and release back into nature your gift of carbon dioxide as reciprocation. Breathing is a gift and a loving conversation. Be engaged.
All day long you’re bombarded with chatter—your own and the noises of those around you. Use your time in nature as a gift of silence. While you practice silence, your ears will be washed with some of the most relaxing, healing sounds imaginable. Even in areas where there is still some human background noise such as city parks or public lakes, you may begin to notice the symphony of sounds and the unison in all of it.
Pay Attention to the Details
When a leaf blows across your path, watch how the wind carries it. Pay attention to how it moves and tumbles. Allow yourself to become engulfed in the experience. Think of when you were a child and watched insects for long periods of time or played in the grass. Nothing else in the world mattered, and that was nourishing. Adults don’t usually allow enough time to experience wonder.
Nature is the greatest inspirer of awe. Its complexity is one of the most important factors that inspire humans to know God. Pay attention to the creation and allow your higher consciousness to open up. Use all your senses in the experience. Notice the smells, sights, feel, and tastes where applicable, and most definitely take in the sounds.
Here are five simple ways to reinvigorate your personal Prana, align with the elements, and use nature’s gifts to help bring about greater health.
- Walk barefoot on the earth. (Earth)
- Spend time next to bodies of water. (Water)
- Allow yourself some time in the sun. (Fire)
- Spend time in vegetation or wooded areas. (Air)
- Stargaze at night. (Space)
Ayurvedic medicine teaches you to balance your doshas through the use of your senses and the recognition of the elements in the world around you. By using these techniques for nature attunement, you’ll have yet another healthy habit that can help bring equilibrium to unbalanced doshas. For example, if you’re dealing with a Kapha imbalance, you may benefit from activity out in the sun, receiving some fire to combat stagnation and sluggishness. The more rigorous the time is that you spend in the sun, the better, but simply soaking up some rays can be beneficial, too. If you have a Vata imbalance, try some grounding activities that involve being barefoot and connecting with the earth. Reaffirming the bond you have with the earth can sooth those airy tendencies.
Spend as much time in nature as you can, and try some of these techniques to help you become healthier and happier in your daily life.