As Mother Nature begins to offer warmer, longer and lighter days, the promise of summer draws ever nearer. This increasing sunlight invites the garden to bloom, the grass to grow and the seasonal vegetables to ripen … asparagus, rhubarb, spinach, spring cabbage, radishes and spring onions.
The yoga wheel of the year guides us to follow the seasons for optimum health and wellbeing. When we reflect the qualities and rhythms of the natural world in our own routines and eat seasonally, we are better placed to find ease and harmony in our state of being.
Our bodies are hardwired to the rhythms of the natural world, yet we have been drawn further and further away from this relationship with the advent of international shipping, artificial light, 24 hour shopping, internet and social media and a culture that drives us to do more, be more, have more, earn more, bigger …. go, go, go. As the days grow longer there can be a temptation to try to fit even more into our already busy lives. Take the time this month to nourish yourself by venturing outside every day to stand barefoot on the grass, feel the earth beneath you, the sunlight upon your skin, the breeze in your hair and look far into the distance to soothe the muscles of the eyes and widen your perspective. Take a moment to listen to nature’s activity …. the buzz of newly emerged queen bees and the song of the migrant birds now arriving (chiffchaffs, sand martins and wheaters, swallows, swifts, cuckoos and nightingales) and be still … nowhere to go, nothing to prove, nothing to ‘do’..
Be mindful of Socrates’ quote “Beware the bareness of a busy life.” a theme that informed many of our classes this past term, and give yourself permission to pause for a moment. Make contact with the elements and nature every day, even if it is for 2 minutes – you can manage that can’t you?
As you take this time in nature, notice the senses coaxing you away from this moment of peace. Notice if you are easily distracted from this simple exercise, with habits urging you to check your emails, answer the ringing phone, respond to text messages, pull up the weed you half glimpse in the flower bed, hang out the laundry, make something to eat etc, etc. Notice these desires attempting to pull you back into your habit, notice them and return to the sensation of standing upon the earth, the temperature of the air, the sensations on your skin, the fragrances you can smell and the colours, sounds and felt sense of being still. Do this for 2 minutes a day, noting how many times in the 2 minutes you are distracted from the experience by a desire, habit and a wanting something different from the moment you are in. Let your desire to be peaceful be more powerful than the habit that is trying to distract you. Over time these distractions reduce, habituate almost and the 2 minutes will grow into 3 ……… and more.