Living in a big city, surrounded by concrete and often confined to indoor spaces, do you feel disconnected with nature?
Having lived in cities like Delhi and Mumbai most of my adult life, I have been there too and intuitively felt my health and well-being quotient go up when in nature!
Lately I have delved deeper into this, and come to discover that no matter where we are, nature is abundant and omnipresent. And we can connect and derive its benefits, free of cost.
So here are my top 5 steps how you can connect to nature, no matter where you are, and gain enormous health benefits. The best part? They take MINIMAL TIME and are absolutely FREE OF COST.
1. Deep Breathing. Have your ever realised that every time you inhale, a part of the universe enters you and each time you exhale a part of you merges with the cosmos. So inextricably connected we are to the universe through each breath. Yet (in my Yoga Guru’s words) we are ‘breathe illiterate’.
Observing our breath and deep inhalation even for 2-3 minutes with our eyes closed, few times a day can refresh our mind, relax our heated nervous system, and can positively impact our stress levels, hypertension and even regular aches and pains.
- Fresh air. City life often restricts our contact with natural fresh air. We live in air-conditioned homes and offices, and travel in air-conditioned cars in between the two! It is like washing many rounds of clothes in the same water, even though it gets dirtier with each round. Besides air conditioning reduces up our skin’s natural capacity to take heat or cold. Hence whenever possible, open the windows and allow fresh air to come in. Turn off the air conditioning from time to time. If at office, come out to air conditioner free zone at least every 2 hours.
If you can get yourself to go for a brisk walk or a run at the crack of dawn, (that’s the time you will find the air to be the freshest) then you’ve got 2 birds (deep breathing and fresh air) with one hand!
- Sun-gazing. You’ll be surprised how accessible the sun energy is in the city, especially from high rises, and this makes it easy to practice sun gazing to gain its miraculous benefits.
One of the biggest impact sun gazing has shown is that it impacts the size and health of our pineal gland, our master gland that regulates all hormonal activity in the body and consequently our energy levels, cell functioning, absorption and utilisation of nutrients and healing.
To begin with all you need to do is watch the rising and/or setting sun (when it is red) for 3-5 min to allow its healing energies to penetrate through the eyes. Gradually increase the amount of time as per your eyes’ capacity.
- Grow your own potted plants. We are genetically programmed to touch and be in contact with plants and soil and spending even 5 minutes a day nurturing a plant has been known to cause positive changes in our blood chemistry and consequently our state of being. Plus the delight of harvesting the herbs we are growing and throwing them into a fresh salad, is simply priceless!
Check out some exciting salad recipes here
Don’t have space for a couple potted plants? Go for micro greens, as they can even grow in a small dish on a windowsill (and micro greens contain up to 40 times more nutrients than their grown counterparts).
- Walk barefoot. For all the antioxidants we are looking for in our super foods and berries, the simple act of walking barefoot on the ground is the most powerful (and cheapest) antioxidant on the planet.