Hiking in nature benefits us physically, mentally and emotionally.
There are many studies about the benefits of walks in nature in the form of hiking, forest bath or a simple walk through the countryside, hills or beaches.
The experience of connecting with nature in a conscious way, with a forest bath or by cliffs, helps to reduce stress allowing us to enjoy the silence, the peace of the sound of birds, a river and our own footsteps in a group. Doctors believe that there are mental health benefits to spending time walking in nature.
Escape to leave our routine behind and go out to nature in community by cliffs, beaches, mountains or forests, awakening the five senses: hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste for the simple pleasure of walking and letting ourselves to be embraced by the natural landscape and the forest baths gives us a feeling of well-being.
Last Sunday I did the Los Miradores route in Mallorca. It was a multi-adventure excursion, with the secrets of the land , cliffs, viewpoints and the benefits are both physical and psychological.
It left me a positive impact to be in community sharing stories, knowledge, tea, fruits, lunch in a Tupperware, drinks and walking in meditation with the other participants for the simple pleasure of contemplating and admiring nature. Instead of consuming in a bar or restaurant, we sat down with our picnic to enjoy the creation that surrounded us at that time. The magic of nature, the living, the purity of the intact, connecting with the real on a cliff.
One of the participants, Nina, told me, “how can we contribute to the planet at this time when the planet is in crisis?”. Looking at the participants while she was commenting on this to me, I realized that each person brought their own recyclable bottles, their reusable Tupperware with their meals and no paper tissues. The health crisis caused by the coronavirus has modified the behavior of members of the community, who without realizing are helping to improve the planet. How? With teleworking there is less use of transport, both public and private to go to work, the substitution of trips abroad or within the national territory by face-to-face work meetings are being replaced by teleconferences and less consumption of goods that are not essential.
Apparently, the coronavirus could be the unexpected ally to curb air pollution. According to this report, nitrogen dioxide levels are falling with confinements.
Benefits of the physical activity:
-Reduces the risk of heart disease.
-Improves blood pressure.
-Increases bone density.
-Develops strength in the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, muscles of the hips and calves.
–Strengthens the abs.
To have a complete wellness experience, I am going to talk about the benefits of combining yoga practice after a walk-in nature.
“In traditional Chinese medicine, one of the fundamental theories is the Yin and Yang. The theory describes the way that everything in the universe is naturally paired with the opposite, and that these opposites are mutual complements. The same can be said of yoga: the word Hatha is literally translated as Ha (sun) and Tha (moon), a pair of opposites that complement each other.” By Kayla Lakusta.
Hatha Flow is a classic set of Hatha poses that flow from one to the other with a few pauses for further instruction and teacher demonstration. Hatha yoga aims to achieve a balance between male and female energies through the use of postures that seek to find the balance between strength and flexibility.
The synchronization of conscious breathing and body movement promotes stress reduction and purification of the mind. Other benefits of practicing Hatha yoga include strengthening and toning muscles, facilitating digestion, improving organ function, and promoting sleep. It improves the immune system with the contractions and stretches of the muscles and the movement of the organs, helping the lymphatic system to eliminate toxins from the body.
It tones our spinal column, which connects the nerves with different organs and with the brain system. Increases flexibility by favoring cells that bind muscle fibre. Improve our daily posture with the realignment of our back. Relaxes and centers the mind helping us to be present and happy. And it fills us with energy.
Yin yoga generally consists of a series of passive and prolonged postures on the floor that primarily work the lower body: the hips, the pelvis, the inner thighs, the lower part of the spine. These areas are especially rich in connective tissues, while we expand the flexibility and invigoration of the body’s energy centers (nadis), release blockages and increase the flow of energy. Yin yoga focuses on static movement, pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation.
The main differences between Yin yoga and many other forms of yoga is that you are encouraged not to use your muscles and passive poses are held for up to 5 minutes or sometimes longer. This flow of energy through the body in Chinese medicine is known as chi and in Yin yoga philosophy as Prana. This energy travels through pathways in the body called meridians. In Yin yoga, chi is thought to run through the body’s connective tissue (meridians / pathway).
Benefits of practicing yoga in nature:
With the new restrictions I have been forced to teach in the field-outdoors to a small group of a maximum of 5 students. The benefits have been remarkable.
Note that the practice of yoga outdoors gives us the experience of identifying with nature. The caresses of the breeze help us to relax the muscles, therefore the experience intensifies even more, and we come to touch the union with the whole “Shamadi”.
Practicing yoga in a studio with candles, incense and music is great, but nothing compares to exercising outside and being able to breathe the fresh air, feel the rays of the sun on your skin and listen to the soft rustle of the leaves. Spending time in nature has been shown to relieve stress, insomnia and even make you feel more satisfied, which is very positive for our mental health. Prolonged periods in the open air with “pranayamas” exercises of conscious breathing and yoga exercises “asanas” help us to be more connected with our body and awareness of our surroundings.
Ritual and cacao
The cacao ceremonies is a centuries-old ritual that seems to be the best opener for the heart. In addition to being packed with vitamins and minerals, cocoa increases blood flow to the brain, helping to strengthen perception and concentration. It helps the body heal, detox, and gives a good boost to the immune system.
Its indisputable properties have also convinced Western doctors and they recognize its high nutritional value and recommend it as a supplement for health.
Cacao contains minerals such as:
The benefits include: self-knowledge, change in the way one relates to oneself, emotional development, improvement of interpersonal relationships, overcoming psychological and physical problems and a more positive perspective on life.