an article by Swami SatyaDaya
Nestled on top of a large hill, with spectacular views over the valley to the Beacon Beacons, connection to nature is a fundamental part of the experience of visiting Mandala Yoga Ashram. Aside from the formal yoga practices offered, the beauty, silence and stillness of the nature found here is a key reason why so many people return time and time again. Most of us are living high paced lives with so many demands in both our work and home environments. This is why time in nature can be so valuable; it allows us to move out of the state of constant doing into a space where we are able to simply be.
In May Mandala Yoga Ashram is hosting the retreat ‘Yoga and the Healing Power of Nature’, which will focus specifically on how re-connecting with the natural world in combination with traditional yoga practices has such enormous potential for healing. When we begin to see and feel that nature and ‘us’ are not separate, that we are an integral part of something far greater than ourselves, we are touched at the most profound level. As Mary Oliver put it in her seminal poem Wild Geese, we begin to realise our “place in the family of things.” Everything, including us, belongs.
Instead of seeing the earth as a place of doing, commanding or possessing, we can be truly present with it, appreciate it, let it inspire and heal us. Particularly in the wild areas of the Ashram, people often find their breathing softens, their heart relaxes, and the to-do list is forgotten. There’s a letting go into that very moment.
It’s often closer to hand than we imagine to take time to be in awe of nature, and understand that we are an integral part of this wonder.