At my first yoga retreat in Costa Rica several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Poás volcano. It is an active volcano that you can walk right up to the edge and peer down into. Our guide jokingly warned us to be ready to run if it erupted because he wasn’t going to wait around to help us. There was actually some movement within the volcano that day and it was producing these extremely low bass notes, one that a musical instrument is not large enough to replicate.
These were extremely low vibrations that I could feel viscerally in my body as opposed to actually hearing with my ears. I will never forget that moment or that feeling because it affected me so deeply. It helped me understand the ancient nature of the planet itself and the magnitude of its creation. In yoga, we connect to the earth through our “roots,” hips, legs, and feet to try to absorb that sense of groundedness and even (sometimes!) calm that Mother Nature has to offer through the many expressions of earth — the trees, mountains, flowers, volcanoes, weather patterns, glaciers, oceans, and more.
Yoga practice brings a great awareness of the gifts of the earth by practicing poses that reflect nature, Tree Pose, Mountain Pose, Half Moon Pose, and the Salute to the Sun for examples. This June 21 is the Summer Solstice and since 2015, has been named the International Day of Yoga across the world as well. This is a day to reflect on the benefits of yoga within your body, mind, and heart, and hopefully a day to practice yoga and experience those benefits too. In class this week, we will be stretching and strengthening hamstrings and quadriceps, which can have a very calming relaxing effect on body and mind, and may help us feel more earthy and grounded too.