When was the  last time you spent time in nature? Summertime is such an incredible invitation to get outside and play – hiking, biking, walking, canoeing, swimming, meditating, reading, painting, photographing, climbing trees, hugging trees….There is SO much to do and you don’t have to be active, you can just sit with it. Have you ever hugged a tree? Have you ever sat and listened to a tree? The most primal act I can think of is to communicate with our natural world for it has so much to tell us. 

This June I had been really struggling with anemia from losing a significant amount of blood. I was leading the women’s retreat in Yogaville despite feeling weak. After all, this type of retreat embraces quiet, calm, and an easeful pace which was just what I needed. The day for our annual slow float down the James River in inner tubes arrived and I was really hesitant to go. I kept worrying about my safety and if I could manage something like this. When I told the women in our group that I was considering staying behind their responses were filled with disappointment. They wanted to share this experience with me and so with their support and our collective enthusiasm to be on the river that beautiful summer day, I decided to go. 

As soon as I plopped myself into that inner tube and felt the cool water, the warm breeze, the community of women all peace’ing out and blissful, I knew i had made the best decision. In fact by the time our 2 hour float was over, I felt rejuvenated and refreshed. My take away from the entire retreat experience was NATURE IS MEDICINE. I have kept that in mind throughout these past couple months as I hiked, swam, and experienced the outdoors in so many ways with my yoga camp kids, camping on my own, and even in my daily dog walks here in Richmond City. No matter where you can find it…nature is there for you like a warm embrace, like the lap of your mother to crawl into and feel held, supported, nurtured, and healed.