Yoga and Forest Meditation
“Nature is my religion. The earth is my temple.”
– Billy Joel
The offering at Qii House Eco Meditation and Relaxation retreat is for a transformational travel experience and for developing self-awareness through nature. There are ample “sit spots “ as well as a large elevated sunset deck for soaking in the moment.
The natural bush setting offers guests a quiet respite designed to connect them on a deeper level to nature. Over 600 research studies support outdoor meditation and exposure to nature to be an excellent way to improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety.
Practicing outdoor meditation is associated with greater feelings of regeneration and energy. According to some expert Yogis, it’s actually easier to practice mindfulness when you are outdoors because nature inherently calls to one’s contemplative sides. Yoga and Tai chi offer the combined impacts of meditation and movement. Put together, these can be influential in encouraging relaxation.
In addition, fresh air and the vitamin D you will enjoy when spending time outside boost immunity and mood. Some studies even suggest that time spent in nature can help with attention deficiency and issues with focus. The National Institutes of Health recommend meditation as a way for generally healthy people – or those with permission from their doctors – to boost immunity and heal from existing ailments. By practising this healing art outdoors and harnessing the additional power of mindfulness that nature tends to provide, you can experience a tremendous boost to your mental health.
How to Meditate in Nature
These meditations are done outside in natural surroundings. They help to enliven the basic intelligence of nature in our awareness and physiology. Our being resonates with the sight of a flower, sound of birds, feeling of a breeze. These experiences wake something up inside of us, and help to set our lives into a more natural rhythm. Nature lovers have discovered this secret without ever studying meditation!
In nature meditations, we focus our awareness on the experience of nature- sight, sound, touch, smell (and perhaps even taste). As with nature meditation, when the mind wanders from the focus of the meditation, bring it gently back.
Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with experience. Kabat-Zinn goes a step further and says “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose; in the present moment, and non judgementally.”
There are several different ways that this meditation can be done so experiment and find what works best for you.
Basic Nature Meditation – Eyes Closed
Find a comfortable position sitting or lying down. Begin with a few deep breaths, breathing deep into the belly, to help you relax and to the sensations of the present moment. Now close your eyes and be present to what is being experienced with your eyes closed. Notice how your body feels, as well as the activity of your mind and emotions. Experience whatever is present without resisting anything or trying to change it. Do this for about a minute.
Now bring your awareness to everything that you can experience in your surroundings. Feel the temperature of the air on your skin, the feeling of the breeze and the sun. Notice the sounds around you- birds, bees, crickets, flowing water. Listen to the symphony of nature. For the rest of the meditation, continue to experience these feelings and sounds. Whenever your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the experience of nature.
As you meditate, you can see where your attention is naturally drawn, or purposefully scan for different experiences. You can also focus on one experience and notice the experience in greater detail. If it is a bird’s song- notice the quality of the sound- as if you are going more deeply into the sound. (It may seem to have a shape or texture.) Don’t analyse the sound and label it with your mind- simply notice the quality of it.
Once again, whenever you notice that the mind has become absorbed in thoughts, easily bring it back to the sounds and sensations of being in nature. At times both awareness of the sensations from the environment and thoughts will be present. That’s fine. Just easily favour the experiences of nature. Meditation Oasis.
Benefits of Meditation
Benefits of regular meditation have been frequently documented as promoting a calm mind, good concentration, better clarity and improved communication. Other benefits include:
- Keeps you stress-free
- Reduces aging
- Adds more hours to your day
- Helps you appreciate life more
- Helps you feel more connected
- Makes you and those around you happier
- Improves functioning of your brain
- Helps you have a good night’s sleep
- Improves metabolism and helps you lose weight
- Increases immunity and helps fight diseases
- Increases your attention span
Read more about the benefits of meditation
Feel the Vibe and Come Alive!
Qii house is an out of box experience. Savor the moment in fresh mountain air, in the ancient otways eco-system, where focus is shifted to the art of living in harmony with nature’s rhythm.
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