It’s April, also known as “Earth Month” at Yogaja. I love that we have a month to focus on our beautiful earth and ways we can show it more love. But April 2020 will go down in the books as a month of isolation in the United States, as well as most of the world, due to COVID-19. The environment, along with most everything except Coronavirus, will take a backseat for now.
Life as we knew it has been upended. The landscape of our outer world has changed drastically; children don’t go to school, the elderly are on lockdown and many of us have lost our jobs. We’re eating more ice cream and binging on more TV. Everything has gone virtual: yoga classes, meetings, happy hours and more.
Many of you may know that Fred and I are getting married. Our wedding was scheduled to take place on May 30. Due to COVID-19, we are changing our date to late summer instead. Our aerial teacher, Audrey Hill, is in the same boat. Her wedding was originally scheduled for this month, but has now been moved to August. This scenario is playing out all over the world, over and over again. It’s not just weddings, it’s celebrations and gatherings of all sorts; graduations, birthdays, funerals, family reunions, the list goes on and on.
But let’s not skip Earth Day...
Let's not allow current events to overshadow the gift of nature that can be a salve to us all. When stress and anxiety levels are running high, we need only to turn to nature to feel grounded again, quite literally. Grounding, also referred to as earthing, is the simple act of putting your feet in direct contact with the ground to more readily connect your bioelectromagnetic field with that of the Earth. Research has shown the benefits of grounding may include improved sleep, less inflammation and reduced stress levels, to name a few. Research or not, who doesn’t feel better after a day at the beach?
While we are being asked to hunker down inside for the time being, outside nature is busting free. Yesterday I saw the first daffodils of the season. Buds are starting to take shape at the ends of branches. If you step outside at dawn these days you will be greeted by a cacophony of beautiful bird trills. Nature continues on in all its magnificence, coronavirus, or not.
Awareness of nature is a wonderful way to find some inner peace. During these tumultuous days take time to be present with the earth. Step outside and just be. Breathe in the air, feel the earth beneath you, smell the smells, hear the sounds around you. If you are unable to go outside, look outside instead. Pay attention to the change in scenery outside your window. Notice the small changes each day as our earth blooms anew again. Give gratitude that spring continues to bloom and pay attention to this miracle.
COVID-19 will become a chapter in our history books. No doubt we will all be affected in different ways by this virus. But the sun will continue to rise each day, babies will be born and postponed weddings will happen. The joy of Spring continues all around us - now more than ever, please take notice.