June 27, 2017

When we Connect with Nature, we Re-Charge our Senses.

Surrounded by desert grasses and sagebrush on a solo nature walk this morning, I felt entirely reconnected—to myself and to the universe.

I think we’ve all experienced how good it feels to be in nature, whether it’s a dip in the ocean or a walk through the woods.

Ayurveda teaches that this phenomenon is a real thing. It says that the closer we are to nature, the healthier we will be. It’s easy for me to feel and understand this concept at a spiritual, esoteric, “woo-woo” level, but difficult to articulate and explain on the physical plane. Finally, this morning’s walk answered some of the why questions behind this phenomenon.

Being in nature necessitates that our feet are on natural earth. The minute we step onto sand, we feel better. It’s not just because we are “grounded” or reconnected to earth—it’s because when all day long we walk on hard and concrete surfaces, at last our joints get some shock absorption on the soft ground. It’s so simple. Our bodies weren’t designed to walk on concrete floors. They’re designed to walk on dirt—so, of course we feel better in nature.

Looking around at the mountains and the ocean’s horizon, miles and miles away, I realized just how rarely I (and we) use our eyes to focus at a distance. We spend so much time looking at things close up (whether it’s our phones, laptop screens, or another human in front of us), and we live in cities that block our views to the distant nature that we’ve nearly stopped using our eyes in all the ways intended.

Ayurveda teaches that the misuse of our senses is one of the main causes of disease. By spending so much time on our phones and laptops we overuse our sense of sight. And by never using our eyes to look far away, as our ancestors used to when hunting and using stars as their guides, we under-use our sense of long-distance sight.

Being in nature sorts this all out. We are forced to use our eyes in the way they were designed, and it feels good.

The same goes for our sense of hearing. Deep in thought about all this nature stuff, I became acutely aware of the depth of sounds around me. There were birds close by, birds far away, and ocean waves crashing in the distance.

I thought about how much this depth of sound is lacking when I’m at home, closed off from the nature around me. It’s another common under-use of the senses. Re-immersing ourselves in nature helps to sort that all out.

Then there’s sunshine. Walking in nature literally gives us our daily dose of vitamin D, which is so incredibly important to our well-being. So, of course we feel good outside.

We belong in nature. She gives us health. The reasons why are really unnecessary, as an immersion in nature speaks for itself. I hope you’ll be inspired to reconnect with her as soon as you can.



Relephant read:

13 Quotes to Re-Inspire Our Connection with Nature.


Author:  Julie Bernier
Images: elephant archives; Flickr/Zane Mulligan
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Leah Sugerman
Social editor: Callie Rushton

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Alpana Aggarwal Jun 30, 2017 6:08pm

Another thing that validates is that when one falls ill, nature appeals so much and feels healing.

Kristie Kooken Jun 27, 2017 10:52pm

Love this article! I was just telling my son on our walk today that I feel the closest to God when I am in nature. Soul refreshing.

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Julie Bernier

Julie Bernier teaches women the art of self-care so that they feel their healthiest and happiest in their own unique bodies. This holistic approach to individualized wellness is rooted in the ancient Indian knowledge of ayurveda: a complete medical science and way of life which explains that our wellbeing blossoms when we align ourselves with nature. Julie is a registered ayurvedic practitioner with the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, a Certified Massage Therapist, and a classical hatha yoga teacher. She studied each of these modalities in the US and straight from their source in India. Connect with Julie at trueayurveda.com and check out her upcoming events in LA: ayurvedic cooking basics and ayurvedic skin care.