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How Outdoor Yoga can Boost our Spirituality?

How Outdoor Yoga can Boost our Spirituality?

Yoga is a powerful practice that helps us achieve the calm and mindfulness we need to feel more spiritual. When times are particularly stressful or you are busier than usual, however, a good idea is to enjoy a yoga session in the Great Outdoors, to reap the unique benefits that nature can bestow. Did you know that nature therapy is currently recommended to help soothe stress related to an impressive number of mental conditions, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders? Like yoga and meditation, time spend in a beautiful verdant setting is known to reduce stress hormones significantly, but its effects extend beyond its calming abilities.

Nature and Spirituality, Past and Present

For thousands of years, humankind has always identified an important relationship between nature and spirituality. In the Australian Aborigine belief system, for instance, everything is interconnected: people, animals, plants, the land, and celestial bodies: everything is part of a larger reality. In Buddhism, nature and spirituality are inseparable. Thus, Gotama, the founder of Buddhism, obtained enlightenment under a Bo tree in a forest and spent a great deal of his life in natural surroundings.
Native Americans, meanwhile, believed that the land was sacred and that we should respect it and organize our lives around the cycle of nature. The Great Outdoors played an important role in their myths, since everything in it (people, animals, landscapes) is part of a united force.
Today, many of us still make time for spirituality, which is a good sign, since studies have shown that there is a link between belief in religion/spirituality, and happiness. However, we are wrong to believe that we can feel at one with the Universe when we spend no time in nature or fail to respect it.

How Can Outdoor Yoga Enhance Our Spirituality?

Performing asanas, pranayama, and meditations in the Great Outdoors offer us the chance to achieve mindfulness almost immediately. Studies have shown that in nature, our heart and breathing rate drops, while our cortisol (stress hormone) levels plummet. For Carl Jung and other psychologists, human beings have an inner need to project their inner, instinctive patterns (or spirituality) onto forests, oceans, or sunsets. We find the very embodiment of wholeness in the beauty of Nature.
By enjoying a yoga session in a lush or seaside setting, we infuse our minds in a sense of sanctity that is very hard to achieve in urban settings. Yoga itself already ushers us into a tranquil and spiritual mindset, but the magic is multiplied when we take it outside.
Whether you are new to yoga or you have been a fan of this millenary practice for many years, your enjoyment and spirituality can be strengthened by spending time in nature. You won’t always have the time or opportunity to perform yoga in the midst of a beautiful green setting but if by any chance you do, make sure to seize the moment.