Welcome to the exciting month of June, when the sun is out, and we have the perfect opportunity to celebrate and appreciate nature in all its glory. June is officially recognized as Great Outdoor Month, a time when we can indulge in various outdoor activities and connect with the beauty of our natural surroundings. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of Great Outdoor Month, delve into the benefits of spending time outdoors, and share details about how you can celebrate the Great Outdoor Month the sattvic way.
What is Great Outdoor Month?
Every year in June, right after the schools close and summer sets in, you have the opportunity to explore nature around you during the Great Outdoor Month. This month is a dedicated celebration of the outdoors, encouraging individuals and families to venture outside and enjoy the numerous recreational activities available. The Great Outdoors initiative aims at promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, while also fostering a deep appreciation for the environment.
If you don’t want to you don’t really have to travel to celebrate the Great Outdoor Month. You can work in your garden, visit nature areas around you, or spend time in green spaces such as parks or walking areas near you. During this month, you can take pictures, read, write, draw, or create art around nature. You can take pictures of wildflowers, plants, insects, and birds around you.
The Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors
There are numerous benefits of spending time outdoors. The WHO has some recommendations for optimal activity for adults of all ages. For adults (age 18 to 64) “at least 150 minutes” of moderate physical activity per week is ideal. Adding an extra 150 minutes weekly (300 total) gives additional benefits. Alternatively, people can do a minimum of 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity plus another 75 minutes (150 total) for maximum benefits.
Physical Health improves when you walk outdoors.
Spending time outdoors is a fantastic and joyful way to improve your physical health. Activities such as hiking, biking, swimming, or even a simple walk in the park can boost cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles, and improve overall endurance. Regular outdoor activities also help in reducing the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions.
Being Outdoors Promotes Mental Well-being.
The great outdoors has a remarkable impact on our mental well-being. Immersing ourselves in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The fresh air, sunlight, and natural surroundings contribute to a sense of calm and tranquility, promoting mental clarity and improving overall mood. Outdoor activities also provide a break from the daily routine, allowing us to relax, rejuvenate, and experience a sense of freedom.
Celebrating Outdoors the Sattvic Way.
The Sattvic Method celebrates nature and all natural objects in many ways. You can enjoy nature mindfully and breathing helps you to maintain a deeper connection with your consciousness. We are made of the five elements- air, water, fire, earth, and space- that allows you to understand and experience the common bonds between all elements and become one with nature. Here are some ways you can celebrate outdoors the sattvic way.
- Mindfully Connecting with the Unknown.
When you are in nature, you are surprised by unexpected happenings. You are always prepared for the unexpected and the unknown when you are in nature. This is why great temples are located in the middle of large forests or banks of large water bodies as it allows for expansion into the unknown and embracing the unexpected. Adopting a sattvic lifestyle encourages all individuals to cultivate a mindful connection with nature and with the unknown. A Sattvic lifestyle involves appreciating and celebrating the outdoors as an integral part of one’s life and spiritual journey.
- Eco-friendly Practices.
Sattvic living promotes cooking small quantities of fresh, with locally produced vegetables and fruits. Practicing a sattvic lifestyle promotes deep eco-friendly practices such as reducing waste, conserving resources, and minimizing environmental impact. Celebrating the outdoors in a sattvic way involves respecting and preserving the natural environment. Nature is a part of daily remembrance in sattvic lifestyle.
- Outdoor Meditation.
Sattvic individuals often engage in outdoor meditation practices to connect with the serenity and tranquility of nature. The Sattvic Method recognizes natural areas are vortexes of spiritual energy. Vast water bodies, tall trees, forests, mountains, valleys, and other areas of notable natural beauty are known for being intense energy hot spots. Meditating in a peaceful outdoor setting can enhance the spiritual experience and foster a deeper sense of inner peace.
- Organic Foods.
Sattvic lifestyle enthusiasts often cultivate their own organic gardens, which allows them to connect with nature and practice sustainable agriculture. Eating fruits, vegetables, and grains grown organically ensures a low pesticide load on the body and the system. Growing and consuming fresh, pesticide-free produce is a way to honor and celebrate the abundance of nature. Read this post on beauty aids in sattvic kitchen.
- Forest Bathing and celebrations.
Roots of the Sattvic Method were developed in the forests. The forests are revered as the house of energies and have a deep intimate connection with the sattvic lifestyle. In some traditions such as Japanese the forests are celebrated by forest bathing celebrations, also known as shinrin-yoku. All over the world there are several serene and beautiful spots where people can relax and indulge in forest bathing. The forest bathing involves immersing oneself in the healing atmosphere of the forest, breathing in the natural aromas, and enjoying the soothing sounds of the wilderness.
- Nature Walks.
Sattvic living encourages regular nature walks as a means to connect with the natural world. These walks provide an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors, observe wildlife, and find solace in the simplicity of nature. Long walks give you ample time to connect with nature and provide immense healing. Even short walks in nature can provide enormous benefits.
- Yoga in Nature.
Practicing yoga outdoors is a way to align the body, mind, and spirit with the natural elements. Sattvic lifestyle promotes yoga practice, meditation, and other mindful activities to the outdoors, whether it’s on a beach, in a park, or atop a mountain, to experience a deeper sense of harmony and connection. You can take time to experience deep relaxation in a natural setting.
- Picnics in Natural Surroundings.
You can have a sattvic picnic or celebrations in natural surroundings. Vana Bhojanam in Sattvic tradition is a celebration of sacred space, sacred energies, and sharing of food with friends and families in forests. This allows individuals to savor pure, healthy foods amidst the beauty of nature, promoting a sense of gratitude and contentment. It bonds the community with their natural areas and humans in turn offer protection and friendship to the forests and all the creatures that live in them.
- Sunrise and Sunset Rituals.
Sattvic living embraces the magic of sunrises and sunsets. Chanting Gayathri Mantra during sunrise and sunset is a sacred practice that expands our brain and cognition. Celebrating outdoors includes witnessing these awe-inspiring moments, engaging in rituals, or simply meditating to absorb the energy and beauty of the natural transitions.
- Mindful Camping.
Sattvic individuals may also relish the time spent outdoors practicing mindful camping, which involves setting up a campsite in harmony with the environment, respecting nature’s rhythms, and living simply during the outdoor experience. Reducing the intake of solid food during these camping events will promote energy flow and detox.
- Sacred Fire Ceremonies.
Sattvic celebrations often incorporate sacred fire ceremonies, such as havan or homa, in outdoor settings. These rituals involve offering prayers, chanting mantras, and making offerings to the fire as a means of spiritual purification and connection with the divine.
- Outdoor Yoga Retreats.
Sattvic lifestyle enthusiasts may organize or participate in outdoor yoga retreats that combine the benefits of yoga practice with the healing power of nature. These retreats provide a serene environment for self-reflection, rejuvenation, and personal growth.
- Volunteering in Environmental Projects.
Sattvic individuals may actively participate in environmental projects, such as tree planting drives, beach clean-ups, or wildlife conservation initiatives. This allows them to give back to the natural world and contribute to the preservation of the outdoors. The Sattvic lifestyle promotes sharing and caring for all beings, both animate and inanimate.
- Natural Beauty Rituals.
Sattvic celebrations of the outdoors may involve indulging in natural beauty rituals using organic and plant-based products. This promotes self-care while respecting and nourishing the body with ingredients derived from nature. This blog post shares an authentic and amazing beauty secret.
- Outdoor Music and Chanting.
Sattvic routine and celebrations often include outdoor music and chanting sessions at sun rise, on full moon days, and on new moon days. Gathering in natural settings to sing devotional songs or chant mantras can create a deeply spiritual and harmonious atmosphere.
- Outdoor Pranayama.
The air we breathe in carries prana, the life energy that keeps us active and alive. Sattvic individuals may practice pranayama (breathing exercises) outdoors to harness the pranic energy of the surrounding environment. Breathing in fresh air and connecting with the life force present in nature can enhance the vitality and well-being of the individual.
- Nature-inspired Art and Creativity.
Celebrating the outdoors in a sattvic way may involve engaging in nature-inspired art and creativity. Rivers, mountains, trees, seeds, fruits, flowers, leaves and other natural elements are considered sacred and often associated with deities. For example, the bilva leaves are considered sacred for Shiva. Thus, painting landscapes, creating sculptures from natural materials, or writing poetry that captures the essence of the natural world are all considered sattvic activities. Check out Sattvic Method’s course on Nature-inspired Art Meditation.
- Outdoor Sacred Rituals.
Sattvic celebrations often involve outdoor sacred rituals, such as offering prayers or performing ceremonies in natural spaces like rivers, mountains, or sacred groves. Gratitude offering to rivers, mountains, and trees are also a part of the sattvic calendar. These rituals deepen the connection between the individual, the divine, and the natural elements.
- Outdoor Satsangs.
Sattvic living may include outdoor satsangs, which are spiritual gatherings where individuals come together to discuss spiritual teachings, share wisdom, and engage in devotional practices. Holding satsangs in nature enhances the collective energy and amplifies the healing and spiritual experience of the participants.
By embracing a sattvic lifestyle and celebrating the outdoors in a mindful and respectful manner, individuals can deepen their connection with nature, nurture their spiritual well-being, and experience the profound beauty and harmony of the natural world. Enjoy outdoors as much as possible and experience the healing, joy, and a stable mood. The Sattvic lifestyle provides you with numerous opportunities to experience nature. Join our weekly newsletter to find out more.