Will you take part?
It’s good to know that whilst we’re welcoming friends and family back into our gardens, there’s a national movement taking place on Sunday 9th May which encourages us to down tools and just “be” in the moment.
As someone who very much likes to down tools without much encouragement, it was of great relief to find out about Garden Day – a nationwide community benefit movement that celebrates the benefits of gardens for health and wellbeing. On Sunday, Garden Day is calling on plant-lovers to down tools, make a flower crown if they fancy it, and share their gardens with family and friends over a cup of tea, a bite to eat or a glass or two (adhering to government guidelines, of course).
If you fancy getting involved, go to www.gardenday.co.uk where you’ll find a toolkit of posters and invitations and party ideas for people to download and use for free, and videos to watch on how to make a flower crown.
Someone who already extols the virtues of spending time out in the garden and using it as a space for relaxation, and a connection to nature is Tracy Harris, owner of Summerhouse Yoga, based in Horsham.
Partly due to Covid restrictions and partly because her garden is just lovely, Tracy has extended her yoga offer by organising outdoor yoga sessions, which currently take place every Tuesday at 1pm and Saturday at 10.30am (weather dependent, of course – who would want to be mid sun salutation whilst it bucketed it down?).
Tracy is a fan of being outside for her practice, as she explains, “It’s really nice being outside. For those who are happy to, we do tree poses “off mat” on the bare earth and that connection through our feet to the earth is wonderful for us. Physically it’s better for balance as the ground isn’t totally balanced, plus when we connect with the grass with bare feet, it’s called “grounding” when, if done mindfully, it’s thought to get your energies more in tune with the earth and if you’re feeling flighty, that connection, that grounding can reset you and help your internal self.”
Resetting sounds like a good idea to me, especially as the world reawakens from the last year and we begin to fill our diaries again. I wonder then, does Tracy think it’s more important for those “days off” to be spent outside?
“Yes,” she replies, “being out in nature you have more moments of stillness and more moments of quiet. There may be sounds around us, it could be birds, or it could be traffic. But we need to be accepting of it all – it’s natural not upsetting. If we’re in a domestic environment there is going to be traffic or children, allowing ourselves to hear these things teaches us to be more accepting, which in turn means we’ll be able to cope a little better with our return to “normal”.”
We begin talking about the joy that being outside brings and although she’s on the phone, you can hear the smile on Tracy’s face as she talks about it.
“Being outside is restorative and energising, just like yoga. It’s really lovely to feel the air on your skin and the sun on your face and if you can enjoy a yoga practice at the same time, you’ll feel really wonderful. In yoga the sun is thought to be a goddess, we can’t do anything without the sun as she’s responsible for everything – life, birth, growth. It all depends on the sun coming up every day. No matter what’s going on in life, you can keep coming back to yoga.”
I’m suffering with a painful back and it’s raining, so spending time outdoors and returning to yoga fills me with optimism for much cheerier days ahead.
For more information on all the yoga opportunities Tracy can offer, visit linktree/summerhouseyoga.
Contributed by Lisa Brace