Saturday, June 12, 2010

Into the Woods

When I go into the woods time seems to slow down. Stress falls away, my breathing becomes more relaxed and I feel open to the energy around me. I do not have to seek this feeling, it just happens. Time and time again I find comfort, inspiration and creativity in the woods.

When we are in the woods it is easy to feel connected to nature. One can feel her magnificence and power. We can often feel small and enormous at the same time: small in relation to the vastness of nature but enormous because we are part of this energy.

In the woods we feel enveloped in a world of green, the color signifing freshness, abundance and harmony. Green is in the middle of the color spectrum and is the most restful color to the human eye. It combines yellow which signifies the soul and blue which signifies the spirit.

There are seven major chakras or energy vortices of the human body. The heart chakra, which is the balance point for the chakra system, is represented by the color green. This is the center of universal love and compassion. It represents emotional empowerment and controls the essential life forces. The heart chakra rules the lungs, heart, blood flow, and circulation.

People often go into the woods for solace. Communing with nature brings us in touch with a deep part of ourselves that can remain ignored for long periods of time. Henry David Thoreau went into the woods of Walden Pond for two years living off the land, meditating, writing poetry and developing a philosophy of pacifism and a reverence for all living things. He said, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

When practicing yoga we want to have this same sense of getting in touch with our inner being. Moving from our heart center brings our practice to life. It is what makes yoga special. It is what leads us to self-discovery. brings us calmness and relief from the stress of everyday life. When we physically integrate our shoulders onto our backs, we metaphorically open our hearts. We have greater capacity to breathe fully. We become more open to whatever life has to offer. We become more alive.

The woods remind us of our connection to nature in a deep and profound way. The mystery of nature is within us and all around us. Nature is a huge part of life that is often underappreciated and ignored. Open your heart to fully appreciate the grandeur and complexities of nature and all she has to offer.

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