Ayurveda is excellent medicine for modern humans because it teaches us pragmatically how to notice nature’s influence, how to feel the guiding pulse of nature moving through us – and how to follow its lead.
Our modern conveniences have moved us out of contact with the most basic of natural influences – temperature, weather, daylight, seasonal food options. While unfiltered nature may be uncomfortable at times, our lack of contact with nature actually renders us more prone to many illnesses and imbalances.
Because we are able to ignore nature’s tides, we stay up late and wake up later; we eat whatever our taste buds crave; we move our bodies insufficiently. We even poison our inner fuel like the air, water and earth. We disturb the balance of our organism, and in turn, the balance of our surroundings. The macrocosm reflects the microcosm.
While remedying our climate crisis can feel impossible, a profoundly important step is at the micro level – simply BE outside more often. Spend time immersed in unfiltered nature. Breathe, smell, listen, walk, stretch outside.
And there’s a bonus – literally immersing ourselves in nature has an immensely positive effect on our spirit, our mood, and our physical health (since all 3 are intertwined). I’m convinced if we simply spent more time outside, all measures of health would improve. We would fall in love all over again. And what we love, we protect.
Here are 5 other reasons to get outside today:
- Nourish and protect your sense organs
The sense organs thrive on natural input. Aromas of earth, rain and flowers reset our system and make us feel alive. The eyes are soothed by natural shapes and colors, contrasting with the illuminated screens that feed us man-made input. The ears are nourished by the sound of a babbling stream, or bird song, or wind. The senses need ample input from natural sources to restore proper function and longevity.
- Feel your kinship with other living beings
Notice the birds that are exuberant about being outside, the squirrels and chipmunks darting through your yard. Make a connection with a tree in your neighborhood, and visit it every week to watch him change garments through the seasons and sit with him in different moods – his and yours. Plant a seedling in a pot and tend her like the new friend she is. We are reminded of the more-than-human family we belong to.
- Restore your sense of perspective
When we spend all day engrossed in our human activities, it can all begin to feel rather self-important. Step outside and remember the variety and scale of life. The larger trees in your neighborhood have probably been around longer than you have. We are quite small in the scale of nature. Let that be a reassurance.
- Appreciate beauty
Literally everywhere you look outside, you can find something to marvel at. The perfect spiral symmetry of a pine cone. The majesty of a tree canopy. The perfect arrangement of feathers in the wingspan of a bird. Nature is truly awe-inspiring, if you are willing to be awed. Seek beauty and feed it to your soul.
- Move your body in fun ways
The outdoors offers endless ways to move within it. Run up a hill, roll down it, fly a kite across a field, hike up a mountain, ride a bike across town. Nature is a playground! Get out and play.