Every time I browse through the news feed on Facebook or Instagram, I realise that a smile crops up on my face when I see that more and more friends choose to spend their time off or even entire holidays in nature. It is such a delight to know that more people consciously or unconsciously turn to mother nature in attempt to find proper relaxation for body and mind.
I could see that for quite a few friends the transition to nature has started with jogging or cycling, and now they go trekking into the wild.
My own lifestyle change began with running regularly after work. I used to get home around 6 p.m.and fix myself a nice salad for dinner with usually more than one glass of wine. I would watch some series while enjoying the salad and the wine. Then I would chill peacefully in my room mistakenly taking that feeling of being slightly tipsy as comfort and relaxation. Illusionary peace that was. In reality, my mind wasn’t at peace and I used alcohol to fight that inner discomfort that I was consciously unaware of.
I took up running to lose some weight. I started with 15 or 20 mins of non-stop jogging and quite soon brought it up to an hour or sometimes a bit more of continuous running in the beautiful park next to my house. Physical exercise replaced a couple of evening wine glasses. I didn’t quit alcohol altogether at that time (that thought was terrifying to me) – I would occasionally still enjoy one too many drinks in a good company of friends. However, a very important pattern got established: at the experiential level my body learnt a true way to let go of any stress – that is through running. Later followed my life-changing decision to leave everything behind and set off on a long-term journey, which has luckily turned into Self-awakening and unraveling my true Self.
Nature has always been there for me throughout my travels. The more awakened I have become, the more I have felt the need of nature and its healing touch. Gradually I realised I always opt for escapes into the nature when I choose my next destination. That’s how I landed in Jibhi, a small Himalayan village in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Mountains are my all-time favourite, and here in Jibhi they are at its best – serene, raw lush greenery rolling down the hills to the gushing waters of the river whilst the slopes are dotted with pretty wooden houses. Jibhi is yet unspoilt by mass tourism, and that is what makes it so precious. The locals genuinely greet you and invite you in for a cup of tea. When a passing old villager upon encountering you in his way puts his hands in a Namaste and slightly bows his head, there is so much sheer joy, respect and ultimate humbleness in his gesture. It is priceless.
Like in any other village people work hard to earn their living, and still a woman with a heavily loaded wheat basket will greet you with the most sincere smile. They live simple happy lives. When one is surrounded by such an amazing nature, they soak in its beauty and soothing energy, which become part of them and radiate through.
By the gracious hand of the Universe I now find myself teaching yoga and meditation in this beautiful village. I am really happy to be sharing the invigorating energy of the place with my students. I have been witnessing how city people spring back to their true Selves and start enjoying simple joys of the day here in Jibhi.
Nature passes on no judgement; it is acceptive of all. Its healing touch reaches you when you find your usual busy and serious Self goofing around acting child-like while roaming around the hills.
As soon as Jibhi guests leave the village, I get messages from them longing to come again. And many do actually visit more than once.
Jibhi is indeed a kind of place where reconnecting to your inner Self comes easy and naturally. I can tell it from my own experience enhanced with regular yoga and meditation practice and the joy of sharing those with my students.
Once again, I am talking from experience, my own and many others’, whose inner beauty I have been enchanted by on my journey, “Nature is the best remedy”. Escaping into its soft hands and cuddling onto its green lap bring us closer to our true Selves.
After all, modern humans as species have been around for less than 0.01% of Earth’s history. As Bill Bryson puts it in his enthralling “A short history of nearly everything”, “If you imagine the 4,500 million years of Earht’s history compressed into a normal earthly day, then …humans emerge 1min and 17 sec before midnight”. Nature is a great deal wiser than us. We should pay it due respect by simply spending some time in the nature. We have got a lot to learn from it.