Connecting with Nature: Why You Should Meditate in the alps
Let us face it, everyday life is extremely busy. Working from 9 to 5 every day, hearing the beeping sounds of congested vehicles, suffering through the ultra busy rush hours and just the overall lack of opportunity to pause everything. That is why many people are now practicing “meditation” - the practice of sitting still, staying present and observing your surroundings. Meditation can fundamentally be performed anywhere; but why are many people deciding to escape the city and meditate in the mountains or the wilderness? Generally, It is hard to 'free all your worries’ when you are living in an urban environment when you have got all the distractions of technology, schedules and responsibilities. Think about it, when was the last time your feet touched the grass? Or when was the last time you just sat in a park to soak in all the nature? Many mindfulness enthusiasts are taking an Alpine retreat to walk through the evergreen forests and awe at the spectacles of snow-covered mountain tops in order to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. If you are looking for a great hotel to stay in for your mindful mountain retreat, have a look at our Alpine hotel as we are located beside magnificent mountains in Northern Italy, the best thing about it is that we also have a Yoga Studio for you to use. Now, here are 3 reasons why you should meditate in the mountains.
CONNECTING WITH NATURE THROUGH FOREST BATHING
Going on a mountain retreat is an opportunity to disconnect with all the city stress and reconnect with the raw outdoors. Naturally, being immersed in the alpine forests will allow you to engage all your five senses - just imagine walking through the tree-covered forests of the Alps, you can listen to the birds coo, feel the gentle breeze and see the sun rays shine through the leaves. In the modern world, we have lost connection with nature, when for thousands of years we have always lived beside it.
There are many different ways in how you can meditate in the forest - you can sit down, perform yoga or even do a walking meditation - in short - there are a variety of ways you can meditate, it is up to you what kind of mindfulness practice you prefer. According to research, physical activity in the form of a 40-minute walk in the forest can help reduce stress and anxiety, and can also help boost your mood. The act of forest bathing has been a common practice in Japan for decades, it is referred to as ‘shinrin-yoku’ - it is considered to be a form of nature therapy, claiming to help reduce cortisol levels and lower blood pressure. Therefore, when you are immersing yourself in the Alpine forests and meditating - you are deriving even more benefits than when you are just sitting indoors.
BEING THE MOUNTAIN
Within many cultures, the mountains hold importance for symbolism and religious reasons. Mountains are believed to be the closest point to the heavens, which explains the vast amounts of monasteries are located high up in the mountains. In Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, meditating in high altitudes can bring you closer to Nirvana, or in other words ‘enlightenment’.
One of the reasons why you should consider doing a walking or hiking meditation in the alps is the sense of achievement. The symbolism of ‘overcoming mountains’ can be taken literally in this context. It represents the challenges and doubts in your life or throughout your hike being pushed to the side to allow for the determination and tenacity you have.
Once you reach the peak of the mountain, you will be presented with such marvellous, breathtaking views of the valleys, lakes, and forests - presenting such beautiful natural landscapes. If you are bringing a camera, it is the perfect time to take a photo and use some of our travel photography tips. After that, you can then meditate, soaking in all the peace and tranquility being on top of a mountain.
If you are meditating on the mountain, there are many ways in which you can enhance your experience. There is the concept of ‘becoming the mountain’, in which you can link up the strength and stability of the structure for our own. A mountain stands, despite the shifting weather, the light and darkness of the day and the constant changes of the outer world. This brings a sense of enhanced presence and awareness over our lives when you ‘become the mountain’. Make sure to keep this in mind when you are on your mindful mountain retreat. If you are looking for yoga classes near the Italian Alps, our hotel hosts yoga and pilates classes for you, your friends and your family, it can help further enhance your mindfulness experience when your on a Italian Alps getaway.
ENHANCING YOUR MENTALITY
The main purpose of meditation is improving your mental health. The busyness of life often creates a tangled mess in our brains, and this is where meditation comes in to help rewire our brains and bring us back to the present reality and see things for how they are.
Meditation can help us mentally is through enhancing our creativity, helping to get rid of underlying negative emotions that could be hindering our creativity (such as distress or worry). Meditation could also help suspend our judgments allowing us to be more open to experiences. According to the Dutch psychologist, Matthijs Baas, these elements are the indicators of creative success. So if you are a novelist or an artist, meditation may help a lot with your creative ruts.
Being mindful also rewires the brain in changing your perspective; it helps create a fresh understanding of the hurdles you have to face through encountering rocks and ditches when walking through the mountain, and even achieve an understanding of the characteristics of the alpine forests - which therefore improves your observation skills, and in some ways, make you “feel free” to roam around the wilderness without anything holding you back - which can help with your overall wellbeing.
Lastly, one of the most important gift of meditation is the effects of being ‘present’. Being present helps eliminate all the burdens of your past and the anxiousness of the future; being present allows you to be fully engaged in the moment. This can help reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing, with the attitude of ‘the only thing you have to worry about is the now’.
We hope that this convinces you to go on a mindful mountain retreat! Come visit our Alpine hotel nearby the alps of Northern Italy, we are conveniently located within beautiful, natural landscapes to hike in.
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