“The entire Universe is concentrated in the garden. The garden allows us to become one with nature. And when we meditate we cannot separate ourselves from nature.”
I took this quote from a snippet that I saw in a little docu-piece online about Japanese gardens. Isn’t it lovely? It’s the essence of what Pepperand I will be getting at when we teach our special Yoga/Herbal-infused/Mindfulness class this year at Herbstalk! I’m super grateful to my dear friend, Steph, for welcoming us as the first ever yoga class to be taught at this event.
In reality what this class offers is a meditation on friendship. You see, once you start a mindfulness practice such as yoga or meditation, your lifestyle changes. It’s inevitable. We learn to become better friends with ourselves, and with other creatures and life on this planet. This can manifest in a variety of different ways. One amazing friendship that can be forged on this path of inner growth is each and every one of our relationships with plant life. You might begin to take in your surroundings more, noticing the changing seasons and with that the types, colors, and energy of plants around you. You might start to crave owning more houseplants and then truly pay attention to them. You might attract more friends who are gardeners, herbalists, nature explorers. What you put on or in your body changes as you put more reverence into the idea that we are a part of nature. I see it happen all the time! It’s a lovely thing to witness happen to friends and family who begin dedicating time to their yoga/mindfulness practice. We begin to transform our lifestyles and welcome the healing and open energy that can come from nature.
This is why Herbstalk is such an amazing creation for those of us here in an urban environment. We are able to learn from some of the best in their field about how to engage closer with the plant world. There will be all varieties of classes, teachers, and business owners to take it in from. Everything from learning how specific herbs can support your nervous system, to how plants can aid in your spiritual process, to creating and sustaining an herbal/natural beauty routine.
For me, discovering and staying open to the magic of plants and herbs has always been a feminine and spiritual experience. As teenagers, Steph and I would head out into the parks, climb trees, create our own rituals in our backyards…and this created healing that allowed us to forge a deep friendship — one that still remains my oldest and dearest to this day. I believe the fact that our friendship is still going strong is due to this weaving of our spirits with how we take care of ourselves through our belief in and our love for the natural world. What occurs when you pay attention to your own day-to-day mindfulness or healing process is a respect for and honoring of our own bodies, and thus with nature. You don’t have to become a plant expert/healer/herbalist extraordinaire, or a yoga teacher/wellness practitioner to reap these benefits or learn more.
All you have to do is stay willing to open up your senses. Possibly watch the lunar cycles, and enjoy each season. Try and see where your interests in plant-life comes out! It could be in consuming tea, using herbal tinctures or elixirs to boost your system in some way, planting a garden plot, or even just taking trips to local gardens for enjoyment. The options are endless in how slowing down through mindfulness and yoga can connect you deeper into what surrounds us via plant wisdom and medicine.
Pepper and I met this past year in Elena Brower’s Art of Attention teacher training, and immediately hit it off through (what else) learning about our love for plants/herbs/the natural world! Our class for Herbstalk will go deeper into this idea of weaving together how we discover wellness with our relationship to plant life. The 2-hour class will involve: meditation, some kundalini kriya, some yin postures, hatha flow, prolonged restorative shapes, sampling herbal elixir, flower essences, aromatherapy, and short discussion.
It is on Sunday morning, June 8th at 9:00am at Herbstalk at the Somerville Armory on Highland Ave.
We look forward to seeing you there!
“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.”