Why Meditate Outside?
You may be wondering why someone would meditate outside when they could easily meditate in a more quiet distraction-free place indoors. What would be the point? It’s easy to see why many people may choose to meditate or practice mindfulness indoors. However, there are some great reasons to give outdoor meditation a try.
Research shows that being outdoors, whether hiking, camping, or just spending time in a park, is helpful for mental health. It turns out, many of the distractions we’re worried about when meditating outdoors can actually help us relax even more. We’ll dive into the benefits below, and why we think giving outdoor meditation a chance is worth your while.
The Benefits Of Outdoor Meditation
Meditating is known to install a sense of calm, focus, and relaxation in us. It can also create a stronger connection to our spiritual side. Regardless of which spiritual direction you choose to follow, if any, we can all agree that we each have a sense of self that we can sometimes lose touch of. This is especially true in this day and age with how busy we all are.
By meditating outdoors, you can create a deeper connection with nature and your natural self by simply taking in everything the world outside has to offer. Scents, the wind, sounds, and temperature are all sensory information our bodies can process while experiencing our meditation journey. These natural sounds and other senses remind us that we are a part of the natural world.
If not for the benefit of reconnecting with nature, getting a nice fresh breath of air alone is enough to make you feel better and refreshed. Below, we’ll explain how to begin your very first outdoor meditation session. If you’ve already tried it before, this guide may help enhance your experience.
How To Begin Meditating Outside
The first thing you’ll need to consider when meditating outside is the location you’ll choose. There’s really no rule as to where you choose, but you’ll just want to make sure the area is safe and relatively free from human distraction. A garden, a quiet area in a local park, or even just a pleasant area in a backyard are all options to consider.
Make sure you’re comfortable. While those beautiful stones in the garden may look appealing to meditate upon, they’ll probably get fairly uncomfortable and distracting quickly. Danu suggests bringing a few of your favorite outdoor pillows or blankets that you don’t mind getting a bit dusty. You’ll want to set up your cushions in an area that will allow you to stay comfortable for the duration of the meditation session. If you feel more comfortable in a chair on a park bench, that is fine too. What matters is that you are comfortable.
Select a feature that may help guide your focus through your meditation. If you are in a park, consider meditating near a pond, fountain, or creek. If you are in a garden or your backyard, try choosing a spot near a tree where you’ll be able to hear the subtle sounds of the leaves and branches gently swaying with the breeze.
Avoid direct sunlight, as the sheer brightness will likely distract you and possibly cause discomfort. Unless you are wearing sunscreen, it’s likely that you’ll also receive too much sun during your session and potentially get a sunburn. We recommend a partially or fully shaded area.
Support Your Routine With These Tips
If you are unfamiliar with meditation styles or meditation practices in general, we think it’s a good idea to try a guided meditation. You can find many audio guided meditations across the internet that you can access on your phone. There are even a variety of apps that have the whole process laid out for you, from beginner to advanced.
If you’d prefer to completely disconnect from electronics, you may opt to skip the app experience. There are outdoor meditation guides you can read beforehand that will explain what steps to take and what to envision while meditating.
If you need a little assistance in calming yourself down before you begin meditation, Tinctures containing CBD, or cannabidiol, may also help relieve feelings of anxiousness. Salves can also potentially provide relaxation with their CBD component and their ability to calm the mind with their unique scents like lavender and eucalyptus.
Danu wishes you luck on your outdoor meditation routine. If you have trouble concentrating outdoors on your first go, just remember that is a regular part of meditating. When the mind wanders off or gets distracted, gently bring it back to your focus and continue your meditation. You’ll be surprised how relaxing this outdoor ritual can be!