Being Present in Nature
Whether it be working out in the garden, sitting on the deck with a book, basking in the sunlight at the lake’s edge or hiking one of the 46 High Peaks, being able to take deep cleansing outdoor breaths is such a gift! And becoming aware of our breaths is the surest way to bring our wandering minds into the present moment – where the body and breath reside.
If you find yourself distracted, agitated, or unable to focus,try this mindful minute of body-breath-nature awareness to cultivate calmness, peace, and ease.
1. Find yourself in a comfortable seat with an upright spine (you can also practice this standing with feet hips width apart).
2. Allow your hands to be soft and relaxed in your lap, on your knees, or by your sides.
3. With your eyes opens for this meditation, sense your breath moving in and out of your nose. As you tune into your breathing, notice what you see in your environment. Notice any colors of objects or elements in nature around you, the color of the sky above you, the color of the ground around and below you.
Breath deep and take in all the beauty of nature.
4. For a few moments feel your body sitting or standing in all this beauty. Breath deeply into your skin, your muscles and tendons, your bones and ligaments. Breath deeply into your lungs filling and emptying. Breath deeply into the beating of your heart.
Notice air, moisture or the sun’s warmth on your skin. Breath deeply into where you feel nature.
5. Shift your awareness and listen to any sounds around you. Listen for sounds far away and sounds closer to where you are. Listen for sounds of nature – birds calling out to one another, creeks, streams or waves on to the shore, leaves on the trees whispering in the wind.
Breath deeply as you become aware of all sounds – in nature and otherwise.
6. Shift your awareness to what you can smell in the environment around you. Breath deeply as you become aware of all scents. Layers of scents from the ground up. Earth, compost, grass, sand, flowers, plants, rain, etc. Breathe deeply into the manmade scents – barbecue, pies, chlorine.
Notice all the scents.
7. For a few more moments utilize all your senses – breathe deeply into all that you see, feel, hear, smell and also what you might taste (if not tasting now what you tasted before and is still lingering). Utilizing all your senses to be so present in the here and now.
8. When you are ready, transition easefully and mindfully into the next phase of your day!
Jennilee helped establish the hot yoga studio at Alpin Haus Fitness Center and soon after in 2016 joined as an instructor. Since 2017, she has been the Group Exercise Program Coordinator, leading a group of over 25 instructors. Jennilee was promoted to Alpin Haus Fitness Center Manager in March 2021.