We know that being in nature is vital for our overall well-being.
Taking time to get outside and breathe fresh air as we move our bodies can really change how we feel by decreasing stress, improving mood and increasing our feeling of connectedness to the world around us. Try these simple practices with your family this week to celebrate Earth Day.
Take a Mindful Walk
Mindfulness can easily be incorporated into our outdoor time. Next time you go for a walk, notice all the sounds that you hear around you – like the wind blowing or the sounds of birds chirping. Notice what you see around you. Can you spot little green leaf buds on tree branches or little green sprouts growing up through the ground? Notice what you feel around you – like the warm sunshine on your skin or a gentle breeze on your face. When you get home, write or draw about everything you witnessed on your walk.
Nature-Themed Yoga-Based Movement
All of these moves have wonderful connections to the natural world.
Seed to Tree:
Kneeling on the floor, fold your body over your legs and make your body tiny like a Seed. Imagine warm sunshine and gentle rain getting you ready to grow (adult helper can press hands on child’s back for warm sunshine and tap fingertips on their back for gentle raindrops). Slowly grow into a Tree by pressing one foot into the floor and propping the other foot against your leg, or placing it below or above your knee. Stretch your arms like branches up to the sky. Drop another Seed to the ground and grow into Tree again, this time balancing on your other leg.
Next, fly like an Eagle. Cross one leg over the other (both feet can be on the floor) and give yourself a big hug. If you feel like it, uncross your leg and send it behind you to fly like an Eagle. Now try on the other side.
Sit down on the ground to become a Butterfly. Press the soles of your feet together and put your hands on your shoulders. You have two sets of wings like a butterfly. Take time to write or draw about your Tree, Eagle and Butterfly.
Experience Nature-Themed Rest
Picture yourself in nature. Choose a favorite place to visit and experience it with all of your senses – what you would hear, see, feel if you were there right now. Write or draw about your experience after.
Here’s a short guided visualization about a Monarch Butterfly. Enjoy this calming story about spending time on a beautiful Spring day with a Monarch Butterfly and see how it makes you feel. Try listening to this story when you need a break between activities during the day or just before bedtime. Notice how listening to this story makes you feel at different times during the day. Write or draw your own nature visualization to share with your family.
How can you bring Breathing, Movement and Rest into your Earth Day celebration? Leave a comment!
Follow along with our Facebook Live video!