Three Ways to Meditate Outdoors

The benefits of meditation and mindfulness are now widely accepted, however taking a meditation practice outside can both bring you closer to nature and make it easier to meditate.

Here are three simple options

1. Look to the sky: meditations don’t have to take a long time. They can be as simple as taking a few moments to slow down and look up. This can also be great to do with children.

    • Take a few slow deep breaths and look up at the sky for a few minutes, wherever you are (this can even be done in the middle of a city).
    • Look at the shapes, textures and the movement. Even on a grey day where the sky appears to be one colour, there are shades, differences in texture and movement.
    • Do any of the shapes look like something else?
    • Focus on breathing in the vastness of the sky.
    • When you are ready slowly come back into full consciousness.

2. Meditate as you walk: people often think of mediations as silent, solitary pursuits, but this one can be done moving and even if you are with someone else. Children can find this a particularly beneficial introduction to being present in the moment and connected to nature. The added bonus of this is that it can also be done anywhere, even a busy city park.

    • Take a couple of deep breaths and notice how the air feels as you breath it in and out. Does it tickle? Is there a difference in temperature?
    • Start to notice how the ground feels beneath you, does it change with each step or is it constant?
    • What is the temperature like? How warm it is?
    • How does the sensation of the air moving around you feel?
    • Can you hear sounds of nature either close to you or further away? Movement of the wind, birds or water?  Are there any other sounds breaking through such as car traffic or people? What can you smell – flowers, undergrowth, the sea?
    • What colours, textures and movement can you see around you? How do these change? How do they move? How do they adapt to their environment? If anything particularly sparks your interest and it is safe to do so, go a little closer and explore.
    • When you are ready, slowly come back into full consciousness.

3. Expand your meditation: This is a longer meditation with a focus on nature. Decide how long you are able to dedicate to this and select a quiet alarm such as a chime. You can work up to doing this for longer durations, but if you are able to do it for 30-60 minutes, it is ideal. Ensure you are somewhere safe and sit as comfortably as you can.

    • You can either leave your eyes fully open or allow your gaze to soften and your eyes to go out of focus slightly, whatever is most comfortable.
    • Take a few deep slow breaths, focusing on how your breath moves through your body as your stomach rises and falls.
    • Start to notice how the ground feels beneath you, does it change with each step or is it constant?
    • What is the temperature like? How warm it is?
    • How does the sensation of the air moving around you feel?
    • Can you hear sounds of nature either close to you or further away? Movement of the wind, birds or water?  Are there any other sounds breaking through such as car traffic or people? What can you smell – flowers, undergrowth, the sea?
    • Without moving your head, what colours, textures and movement can you see around you? How do these change? How do they move? How do they adapt to their environment? It’s your own personal movie. While you sit, notice the changes on the ‘screen’ in front of you. Nature is constantly moving and changing. It adapts to its environment. There might be a tree bent over from the wind. Or a plant growing in an unexpected place. Or an intricate spider’s web. Is there something in your ‘movie’ which you feel draw to and are able to connect with? Is there a sound you can breath in time with? Is there an animal that particularly sparks your attention?
    • When you are ready slowly come back into full consciousness.

Biography

Sarah founded the The School of Balance, which helps ambitious driven women who crave more balance in their lives. Relaxation + Mindset + Nutrition + Fitness + Happiness.


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