Why I Love Being in Nature

We asked our faculty who teach outdoor programs at Kripalu about their favorite ways to get outside, and the most powerful benefits they experience in nature. 

Micah Mortali

I like sitting near water and listening to it speak, being under trees, climbing trees, feeling ancient stones, smelling pine trees, and making little fires. I like walking over the earth with my kids and watching them frolic and play as they move freely on the earth, spinning, laughing, and dancing. I like walking barefoot in the snow and drinking hot coffee outside in the cold of winter. Although I know there are so many documented benefits of being outdoors, for me, it’s the experience of connecting with something bigger than my own little self—the way the living earth shows me every day the ways that we are all connected and interdependent. 

Michelle Dalbec

My favorite way to get outside is hiking. Walking on a semi-soft surface that has rocks, ruts, roots, inclines, and declines gives my body a variety of movements that I don’t get on flat, paved surfaces. My body feels challenged in little and large ways. Plus, wandering in the woods for an hour or so helps my mind wind down, resets my nervous system, and almost always juices up my creativity. I get my best, most authentic ideas on the trails.

Jess Frey

Barefoot wanders, cloud gazing, sunset staring, and bonfire ceremonies connect me to the mysterious more-than-human worlds—animals, trees, spirit, wind, earth, heavens, water.

Becky Cushing

I love getting outside before sunrise—paddling, hiking, birding, breathing crisp, cold air and feeling the damp fog against my skin. Nature stokes my curiosity; it humbles me. I’m inspired by the strength of other living beings. When I feel connected to the natural world, I feel more alive.

Tracy Remelius

Whether I'm skiing, paddling, hiking, or just watching a stream flow, nature brings me into the moment. 

Dale Abrams

Exploring forests without a particular destination in mind, taking in sounds and sightings of birds, mammals, and trees, with the scent of moss and ferns on the breeze—being in nature is one of the few places I feel fully unplugged and my cares drop away. During quiet moments in nature, we can feel the pulse and breath of the planet in bird songs and frog calls and the wind in the trees, and know that there is something much larger than ourselves, a rhythm of life that transcends millennia.

Susannah Beattie

My favorite way to get outside is to be near water—whether I’m kayaking on a lake or sitting next to a river, I become mesmerized by the different ways in which water flows and how it shapes the earth around it. Being in nature reminds me that life is so beautiful and precious, and inspires me to live with more intention. 

Jurian Hughes

My favorite way to get outside is to take a “breath walk.” I walk for five, 10, or 15 minutes, or more, and simply focus on taking deep inhales and exhales. It’s a form of meditation that clears my busy “monkey mind.” I’m reenergized and ready to go back to whatever task I was doing with a new perspective.

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