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Yoga was meant to be practiced WITH Nature
I’m not talking about striking a tree pose with Nature as a backdrop 
but rather practicing WITH Nature, not just IN Nature. 
The word IN speaks to a place that one can go into and away from
the word WITH speaks to an interaction… a real, deep, connected, relationship with Nature…
This relationship is a missing piece in Yoga (add a blog post link here)

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How to use Yogic tools to tap into the wisdom of Nature so that you know deep in your ‘bones’ what oneness, connection and belonging feel like…

 AND we intuitively know this already… 


You can already hear the ancient tugs bringing us back to Earth in our practices…the whispers of knowingness that Nature is somehow connected if you find yourself saying Yes to any of these:


  • find yourself unrolling your mat on your deck or near a window or a plant

  • feel a deep sense of peace when you're with Nature

  • ever secretly wanted to be one with a Tree (or mountain or any part of Nature) 

  • crave Nature time in your day and find it just as fulfilling (even if it is in a slightly different way) than your Yoga practice

  • wonder if your love of being near Nature during your practice is a distraction (hint: it’s not, it’s actually a deep tug from within)

  • plan to go or want to go a yoga retreat near Nature and you are just as excited about the Nature piece as you are about the Yoga piece

  • talked to Nature in any form (said “Good Morning” to Sun, or ask a deer what they are doing)

  • find being with a sunset (or morning bird song) a meditative experience

  • thought about how great it would be to get some quiet time in a cabin somewhere remote so you can do your practice and just be with Nature

  • Feeling blessed when you have interactions with Nature (ex: when a bird comes close to you, or you lock eyes with a fox)

Although we are intuitively drawn to Nature…the problem is is that we aren’t sure how to bring more Nature into the practices of Yoga. We can hear the whispers but aren't sure what they mean or what to do with them.


Nature has been left out of the conversation for so long that many of us wonder if it’s ‘allowed’ to be part of a Yoga practice; let alone think that Nature is a key to having more easeful and regular direct experiences of Oneness/Union.

Hello,  I'm Natalie Forrest.

I’ve been helping people have direct experiences of oneness by realizing Nature as Teacher for years.

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When I first started out in an official Yoga practice I knew that my practice outside with Nature moved me in ways that an indoor practice just never did.


It was so much more work to feel connection in a studio.

I craved — I wanted to KNOW in my being what connection and union felt like…to live it, breathe it...


I spent YEARS digging through, reading, asking questions, trying to understand exactly what Yoga was (and wasn’t)...and what Nature had to do with Yoga. I even got my Ph.D in Applied EcoPsychology writing 2 papers on the connection of Yoga and Nature, and a book on it.

It was when I was having my own personal direct experience under the full moon one night that I really understood.

It took me a long time to acknowledge Nature’s role in my practice and even longer to get the clarity of what to do about it.


But when I did find that understanding, those words and that experience it changed my practice significantly...and now I help other Yoga practitioners realize Nature's importance to their practice and experience of Yoga.

As one of the students who has done this work said:


"I'm getting deeper into what it is to be moved by connectedness, to be able to abide in that space before and after thought until what is called forth is not fabricated by a mental effort but by something much deeper, larger, more full..."

- Chris Alford, Australia


Before creating these courses I spent 6 months interviewing fellow long time yoga practitioners about their relationship with Nature during their practices, and I noticed a few interesting things...


The beginning of a conversation started out with “Yeah, I love Yoga, Yeah I love Nature…but I’m not sure….” and then it trails off into some sort of thinking contemplation space…


as if trying to reconcile something…a knowingness


I saw this contemplation many many times in my conversations…these moments of long pausing for introspection…trying. to. figure. this. out.


This contemplation would then be followed by a delightful bursting out of how drawn to Nature they feel when they practice…


and they’d share in a bit quieter voice as if it had been a secret that they’ve been waiting for someone to ask about


 delighted to finally find someone else who’ll understand, or at least not think they’re weird:


“Oh I do love to practice on my deck” 


“I bring my mat up to practice in the morning Sun, there’s just something about the morning sun” 


“Once there was this bird that I swear was speaking to me when I was in my meditation” 


“I spent a summer practicing beside this tree in my yard, I really loved it, my practice was just different somehow”


“I was in awe of the sunset this evening during my practice, it made my breathing practice even more inspiring”


This revealing would be followed quickly by a questioning of these moments of practicing with Nature with a revoking of that moment, that it was somehow ‘cheating’ in their practice:


“but I wonder if it’s a distraction”, 


“I notice that when I go into my dark room I end up feeling more depressed and think that perhaps that’s a more serious yoga practice”,


And then another pause before bursting with this delightful secret sharing again talking about the amazing thing that happened in their yoga practice on the deck; 


how the sun warmed their skin and also shed light on something important and helped bring a shift about in their inner landscape…


or how deeply recharging it is lying in Savasana in the moonlight where this interaction just fills them up with and empties them out at the same time…


…a beautiful dissolving of stress being replenished with connection.


I saw this slight internal tug of war - this dance of being drawn to Nature but doubting it and then not knowing how it’s supposed to fit with our yoga practices - over and over again in my conversations. 


Not quite sure how to nurture this Natural part of their practice to bring them into a ‘real’ yoga practice.


Having these feelings of being so much more alive when we practice with Nature but then having these moments of tender sacredness tamped down by doubt because we can’t quite get the mind around it. 


So we are left not knowing what to do with these beautiful moments, where they go, and more importantly how to weave them into the tapestry of the practice. 


Left wondering if these moments are outside of the Yoga we practice - blips, “accidents”, distractions…


These moments are not flukes, they are not distractions, they do not make Yoga less of a practice because there wasn’t a struggle to experience the union… 


Being able to hear, feel, and be with these moments IS the practice.

it is inner nature (re)uniting with Nature

they are the essence of what Yoga is…a direct experience of Union


Nature was so much a part of human existence for so long that it was just a given, implicit in the goings-on of all things humans that it didn’t need  to be mentioned directly; it was inescapable.


Today in our very fast and busy world tucked away inside, away from Nature we find ourselves even more removed from that relationship, that connection to something larger than ourselves that so many of us crave, the reason we practice Yoga.


But there are whispers and echos of this relationship left throughout, little mentions re-minding us, helping us re-member… in the names of the postures, Sun Salutations, warnings to not practice in direct sunlight, discreet mentions of practicing on deer skin in the forest, and monks venturing into caves for extended periods of time.


It is not a coincidence that modern Yoga retreats be boasting about proximity to a Natural area or that we see endless photos of Yoga postures in Nature.


Yoga was meant to be practiced in relationship with Nature.



Those that love this work often:
  • Feel deeply impacted by what we humans are doing to Nature, and may experience eco-grief 
  • Love Yoga 
  • Love Nature 
  • Love contemplating and feeling deeply so they may better understand
  • Looking for understanding and compassion, not necessarily the one big Truth
  • Want to directly experience connection, belonging and peace
  • Long for a simpler society that holds Land and Nature as intrinsically valuable 
  • Love dyading
  • Are open to seeing and feeling things in a new way (and in fact, love that)
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