Taking yoga off the mat
I’ve worked outside all my life, but it wasn’t until I found yoga that I fully started to SEE the world around me.
As walkers pass us on the farm whilst we’re in these strange times I notice their speed, I used to be that kind of walker, a quick march to ‘get somewhere’ although right now we’ve got know where really to go!
A rhythm within me that would never slow, even when I was on my day off. Once I found yoga I started to hear the birds, see the newly opening buds on the hedge rows and notice the cobwebs!
I’d slowed, to a pace that meant I could see what was around me, I sometimes ponder, was it that I actually slowed down, or had my mind just slowed, made space for the present rather than always living in the future?
As we spend our sacred daily exercise outside, take your yoga there, slow your breath, feel the earth beneath your feet and notice your surroundings, there’s no rush to get home, no where to be, let yourself pause and listen, see if you can here the early songs of the coo-coo or the first sights of sparrows for spring.
It was like I’d stepped into a whole new world when I slowed and started to notice and I know I still miss so much, as we let the senses open it’s amazing how much wonder and magic is around us.
Some ways you can start to notice more whilst walking on your own or with loved ones:
Set yourself/family a challenge to notice and point out 5 new things each walk
Use technology, take a camera and photograph 3 things that stand out to you that day, return home and either research what you saw, or draw them in detail (the drawing doesn’t have to be “good”, just what you see in the pic)
Listen; you can get bird song apps, try to learn and identify one new bird song each walk
What tree? Learn your trees, as they come into leaf, take a paper and crayon out, do a bark rubbing, collect and leaf and bring it home, rub it onto the paper, draw it, stick it on, then find out what type of tree it is, and all you can about that tree.
Who can spot new life, from lambs in fields to buds on hedges and bushes new life is springing up everywhere, see who can spot new life as you walk. Look in the grass too as well as up, it’s everywhere!
Its a bugs life; see what insects you can find, taking the focus from the large to the small
For those in towns? Most if this still applies, but also what about architecture? Spot 10 things that are blue for example? Changing the colour each day or 5 things with the number 8 on!
In the city art work is popping up with poems and thoughts on the current times, look around, notice them, read them!
Look down you favourite street take a mental picture then head home and draw/paint it, see how much you notice, you can keep coming back to it as the days pass.
Hopefully this gets the ideas flowing, there’s so much you can do to cause you to notice more, learn more, engage with your surroundings more, get imaginative and have fun with it, all will cause you to slow down and be more present.
I’d love to know, how you create more presence on your daily walks?