Going green is great for you, and we’re not just talking about spinach smoothies. Studies show that being in nature can improve memory, promote sharper thinking, improve concentration, and improve mood and immune function. Living in a city is no excuse. You can find patches anywhere, anywhere. Get in the habit of taking fresh air at least twice a day to calm your mind and regain mental energy. Listen to this guided meditation as you go for a walk, no matter where you live.
1. Urbanites, take to the streets
Life in the city is more difficult when it comes to connecting with the rhythms of nature. Circadian rhythms can be easily hampered by all sorts of nightly dinner options, street lights, out-of-window horns, and more. What is less clear is how to get your solution from nature effectively and consciously. Commit to finding ways to be outdoors, breathe fresh air and connect with the essential rhythm of the place. It may be a rhythm syncopated by car horns and more specific than green pastures, but it’s still possible to find beauty in everything.
On a walk through the concrete jungle, determine that you will stop at every light and look around at the architecture of the buildings. Look up at the sky. Notice how many trees line up with this block or planters, or not. Take a few deep, relaxing breaths, drop your shoulders, feel your weight on the sidewalk, and move on. Head to a river or a park and sit there for at least five minutes to enjoy peaceful contemplation.
With your eyes open, strive to soften your gaze so that you can contemplate the scene almost in peripheral vision. There is no significant focus or intensity of attention. Just breathe and watch how everything feels. You’ll probably notice patterns of movement, sound, and smell. You can feel your seat on the bench or on the grass. Breathe and observe the rhythm of life that follows around you.
2. Mountain people, go hiking
Start your walk with a sense of self. Stay still and high before you begin. Feel your feet on the floor, head up and breath filling your lungs. Listen to the sounds of nature around you. What can you feel, smell, taste? Breathe deeply and deliberately and walk away.
If you have a companion, agree that even if you can talk while you walk, every time you stop, you will do so in silence. You will stop. Inhale and sweep your arms over your head and exhale, letting your arms draw an elegant arc around your body. Inhale and exhale twice as much. Then put it on. Look gently at the horizon or below, unless you feel tired, in which case look up at the sky.
Now look, listen, smell. Feel your skin and notice the quality of your breathing, deep and full. Watch birds and bees and anything else that catches your eye. Observe without getting involved. If you start thinking or attaching memories, recognize them and let them go easily, turning your focus gently to other aspects of your current experience.
Related: A 5-minute walking meditation for the mind-body connection
3. Beach Babes, find your flow
Walk to the shore. Feel the sand between your toes, its temperature and texture. When you find a dry place near the water, take a comfortable seat. It softens the gaze towards the horizon and lets the sensation arise and dissipate. Participate with the rhythm of the sea. Observe the smells and sounds. The rhythm of the waves, the ripples of the water. Watch the movements of tiny birds along the shore or hear the moan of the wind. Inhale and exhale at a gentle pace, so calm that you hardly notice where your body touches the air around you. Just be a kind observer and when thoughts, memories, wishes or to-do lists arise, redirect your mind to the constantly moving water, the soothing sounds of the air and your own breathing … even the sounds of your blood flowing through your body. .
By Lisa Hedley
#meditation #enjoy #outdoors
Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission.