True Nature Travels Blog

Enjoy life offline

In our modern age, it has become the norm to spend hours on our smartphones each day, thus exposing us to potentially harmful blue light and radio frequency energy. Overuse of digital screens can lead to eye strain, difficulty focusing, dry and irritated eyes, headaches and even anxiety and depression. At True Nature, our team is always on the lookout for ways to remain present and healthy regardless of the bustling world around us (and in the palm of our hands). The newest tool for mindfulness to catch our eye is from our friends in Peru, The Mudita Pure: Your Minimalist Phone. It includes all of the essentials of our phones (i.e. calls/texts, calendar, music, alarm clock, Bluetooth, and notes), but sets itself apart from smartphones with its ultra-low SAR, long-lasting battery life, and E Ink display. 

Enjoy life offline

With a regular yoga and meditation practice, it is impossible to not feel the negative effects of some of the products we rely on. And rely we do. Our phones have become such an important part of our lives that many of us feel naked or even anxious without it in our pocket. Imagine the freedom of releasing yourself from the bright display and programmed slot machine-style notifications of your smartphone. The concept of reducing eye strain is enough for us to get excited about this new product, but Mudita’s intention of freedom, joy and living in the present moment is what really solidified our interest in what they are developing. Visit our affiliate link here to read more about this back-to-basics approach to phone usage and to reserve one of your own.

self-care

True Nature Travels Blog

Yoga Guide

As more and more people around the globe are getting mindfully immersed in yoga, it has become perfectly normal to practice it wherever you go. If you are planning a holiday, or you want to organize your yoga retreat or go to one, you should strive to do your maximum to reap the benefits of it. Creating a guide that will incorporate everything you need to do can be challenging, but if you set your mind to it spiritually, everything is plausible with positive thoughts and a little bit of effort. If you desire to deepen your yoga practice and travel to exotic places at the same time, here are some tips that will ensure you’ll have a serene and fulfilling trip.

Visualize your renewal

Before you embark on an adventure of a lifetime, it is vital to visualize your aim of the upcoming trip. You want to find the location that would help you reap the mindful benefits of that yoga retreat. Very nifty advice is to visualize your experience. You need to search deep within yourself to find out what kind of destination will enable you to get the most out of your renewal. If you seek to find a place where you can reset, renew and recharge, try to resonate what will suit your best. For instance, if you want a serene ambient in combination with perfect weather and breathtaking environment, then you should consider a yoga retreat in LakeAtitlán, Guatemala.

Do thorough research

Very often people believe that is simply necessary to travel all across the world to some exotic yoga retreat to get the most out of your experience. Some of those exotic places like Bali or India are truly remarkable and do offer the most outstanding yoga experience that you can ask for, but they can be rather costly. Make sure that you get your money’s worth and double-check the prices of yoga studios and retreats. Do thorough research to find out whether you can really get what you have installed for. In addition, while travelling if you are planning to do a yoga teacher training program, it might be better to complete it in an exotic and renowned place. Search for an eligible and professional yoga studio that can provide everything needed to earn a certificate of a registered yoga teacher.

Pack with a positive mindset

Yoga travellers don’t fall into the same category as other cross-continental travellers. You don’t need to carry two heavy suitcases with back up clothes for every single day. Neither are you obliged to pack little mundane appliances like a blow drier or an iron. All you need is a few casual and lightweight clothes, if you are going to a warm area, a pair of slippers, Pj’s and an oral and beauty kit. Always have in mind that you are travelling for a greater purpose of indulging in the free-spirited world, so there is no need to over-pack with clothes and shoes. However, there is one thing that you will most certainly need, and that’s your yoga mat. If you are packing personal yoga mat, make sure that you find a quality yoga mat bag where you would place your mat so that it doesn’t get ruined along the way.

Take your time to find the most outstanding yoga retreats and make the most out of your travels. If you follow this guide and carefully plan out your travels, you will feel more inspired and mesmerized with the world around you.

About the Author

Morgan Rose Elliott is an aromatherapist, yoga instructor, animal lover, a happily married mother of two. She enjoys reading biographies and writing poems, sunny days on the beach and any shape and form of vanilla. Crazy about the ’80s, her favorite band is Duran Duran and she is obsessed with the Netflix Original Stranger things. https://twitter.com/MorganRoseElli1

True Nature Travels Blog

When there is a lack of ease in the body, it starts to create disharmony amongst us as a whole, leading us into a spiral of a loss of connection to the pleasures of life. Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension that can lead to us feeling forgetful, have headaches, a lack of energy or focus, tiredness, upset stomach, substance abuse, diarrhea or constipation, even weight loss and weight gain. It can be sneaky, so sneaky that sometimes we don’t even notice that these symptoms are being caused by it because we are mostly looking out for the big reactions such as: high blood pressure, skin problems like acne or eczema, menstrual problems, anxiety, and depression. Now there are many factors that can cause us to be stressed especially with rates of living and the environmental problems that we are facing in our days. Let’s remember though, with every problem there is a solution, and when it comes to helping the body there are MANY.

One of my favorites as some of you may know is food & herbs. Food is medicine, and it is a way that can help us integrate back into our environment. Food is a reflection of nature and nature is pleasurable. She’s sensual and inviting filled with life and even death but in a way that brings even more life. She is the perfect example of ourselves. Showing us how we too can find regrowth from the things we shed and how we can be resilient, vibrant, and nourishing. I’ve decided to share with you all something that I absolutely love and find extremely affective. When I feel stressed, overwhelmed, and uninspired, the one thing I mostly crave is something floral and refreshing. I want something to bring me back to the feeling I get after laying in the sun next to a cooling river stream, jumping back and forth from the water to the warm rocks, letting the sun kiss my skin as I lay in fresh air that is surrounded by trees. Feeling so alive again, so inspired, and charged.

Two words, Sun Tea. Yes, you heard me right. You can leave herbs in a jar, close the lid and place it in the sun for hours and it will pull out the medicine from the plants and create a thirst-quenching, restoring tea, purely for your enjoyment. Magic in a jar I like to think. Radiating, nourishing, sun magic.
The herbs I picked for this are especially good for Stress. Lemon Grass, Rose, and Lavender. Three simple but POWERFUL herbs.

Rose, my absolute favorite, is a flower of beauty first native and discovered by the ancient civilizations of China and then spread and cultivated by the Middle East. This is a large staple in the culinary world for Middle Easters but for the Westerners, we love to use it in other ways such as teas and tinctures. It is cooling, an anti-inflammatory, helps open the heart, aids depression, grief, and is used often in times of transitions.

Lemon Grass, another wonderful herb. Native to Sri Lanka and South India but now grows in many countries around the world. The stalks are very common in Asian cooking, but to brew the lemongrass to make tea is another potent method. Studies have shown that it helps relieve anxiety, lower cholesterol, relieves bloating and can help boost red blood cell levels. Lastly, good old Lavender. Since ancient times, lavender has been used to treat many different ailments, mental and physical. Mental health issues, anxiety, depression, headaches, nausea, and even acne. Other possible benefits for the heath are: sleep improvement, reduction in blood pressure, helps combat fungus growth, and can help lessen menopausal hot flashes. All these herbs have medicine that is so large and beneficial to all that we are dealing with as a collective. Even just the simple smells of them can help sooth our minds. Together, let’s start a new trend that can be so simple but yet so effective. Coming back to natures gift to help heal our minds, bodies, and sooth our spirits.

Recipe:

16 0z. mason jar with lid

2 tbl. dried Rose

Full pinch of Lemon Grass (enough to fill the palm of the hand)

1 tbl. Lavender

16 oz. of filtered water

Herbal Sun Tea

 

Place herbs in the jar and fill  with water. Tighten lid on then place in the sun for at least 4 hours. Longer is best! Then strain into another jar and enjoy <3

Together we can heal. I hope this brings you joy.  -Chelsea

 

 

About the Author

Chelsea Shapouri is a Lifestyle Consultant for women and an Elemental Yoga Instructor based in Santa Cruz, CA. In her work, she offers Ayurvedic lifestyle modalities, Yoga, Breath work, Meditations, and Ayurvedic Recipes. Every client and student is rare and special to her. Chelsea’s mission is to find their unique rhythm, their primal-natural state, and from there support them with techniques and recipes that are meant for their bio-individuality. Harmony for the emotional body, physical body, and mental state is the embodiment she lives by and wishes to offer. Bringing people back home to themselves with techniques they can simply do themselves is what she lives for. The art of service is the art of love and she shares what has helped her heal for the hope to help others heal. Stay connected to Chelsea and read her story through social media or her website: https://primal-harmony.com/

True Nature Travels Blog

Transformation and Change

Transformation and change are both part of life and nature and its seasons constantly remind us that these occur naturally. We must go through all phases in order to grow and although we might resist change, it will happen regardless. If we become in tune with nature, we can learn to flow more freely with the currents of life. Taking each season in consideration, let’s see how these might also affect us.

Spring – The season of fresh new beginnings

In the Northern hemisphere, spring is in March, just around the time when we start to manifest new beginnings and focus on the goals set for a new year ahead. In the Southern hemisphere, it begins in June, a mid-year shift of energy in which we begin to take charge on how we wish to progress forward for the second half of the year. The energy of this season is light and vibrant, bringing a sense of clarity and joy to the mind. Nature begins to bloom and the grey fields of winter get a makeover, turning green and colourful from the blossoming flowers. This is a period of transition, from the darker winter days to the bright spring vibes. As nature begins to come to life, so do we. It is a period of transformation for us also, and it’s not uncommon for people to shift careers, start new creative projects, end relationships or begin new friendships, during this time. To support this energy, it is a great idea to follow in nature’s footsteps and get a makeover also. It’s all about a fresh new approach to everything. Anahata or the heart chakra is associated with spring, which means we learn to open our heart to the new and trust that all beautiful experiences are coming our way because we are worthy of these.

Transformation and Change

Summer – The season of adventure

Summer is the joyous season. With the powerful sun taking centre stage, this brightens up our life. It is a time when we are most likely to be open to new adventures and exciting times. Summer is all about having fun, being outdoors and spending time with friends and new acquaintances. It is also a period of nourishment, as we are more likely to spend time in nature and in the sun, getting that extra boost of Vitamin D. The energy shift into summer empowers us to check in with our inner child, to be out and about and enjoy the sweet weather. As the fire element is strong during summer due to the sun, this might also bring out the passion in us, which we can use for any aspect of our life, whether it is love, new projects or simply living life with a strong passion. Manipura or the solar plexus chakra is associated with this season which is about feeling courageous and taking risks which empower us to feel confident.

Transformation and Change

Autumn- time to slow down

As nature begins to get moody with shades of brown and yellow, we also start to wind down from a busy summer season of fun and passion. Rainy days appear, which means our emotions may become heightened. Autumn is a time to slow down, to start making diet changes which fall into the season and take care of our physical, mental and emotional self. There is a lot going on in nature during this time. Stronger winds start to make an appearance which we can associate with the element of air, symbolising mental activity. The rain is about the water element, which represents our emotions. The temperature begins to drop, which means we might be running out of fuel slowly. So, it’s important to take a step back and emotionally work through what you’re feeling, releasing over-thinking and mental stress. Swadisthana or the sacral chakra is associated with autumn, which is about boosting our creativity and nurturing ourselves emotionally. When we balance the sacral chakra, we learn to flow freely with the currents of life and be open to the flow of movement and change.

Transformation and Change

Winter – A period of self-reflection

Commonly known as the time of hibernation, this is the perfect period for some self- reflection and going inward. Winter is all about nurturing ourselves, eating warming foods and spending more time indoors. The cold weather has a big impact on digestive changes, so it’s important to pay extra attention to the foods we eat and our overall wellbeing. Winter is slow and heavy, so we need to welcome in this shift, take it easy and relax. Although self-reflection is about spending time on your own, quality time with our loved
ones will also take away the “winter blues” feels and help us connect with others. As this is a period mostly spent indoors, we can also use this time for setting new goals, catching up on some journaling and work on our affirmation for the spring season to follow. Muladhara/the root chakra is associated with the winter season. Working on this chakra throughout winter is about becoming grounded, creating stability and putting down some roots…which you can start manifesting as the spring season arrives.

Transformation and Change

About the Author

Miriam IndriesMiriam Indries is a published author, yoga and meditation teacher, passionate about holistic healing. She is also a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner and NLP coach. A keen traveller, wondering soul and student of life, Miriam is the creator of Self-Elevation.com, online platform empowering others to find their greatness.

True Nature Travels Blog

 

April is all about World Earth Day, a great day of honouring Mother Nature and its powerful energy. Celebrating this, we can engage in different practices which help us connect with this grounding force and come in closer contact with it. This month, devote some time to bring alignment within your energetic self by focusing on nature and its beauty.

Get out in the nature and practice karma yoga

Mother nature is kind, powerful and loving. It provides us with a home and beautiful energy that boosts our life force. Find a beach nearby by, a park or any space in nature where you can go and World Earth Daydo a clean-up. It can be as small or as big as you’d like. Devoting some of your time to look after the environment is beneficial for the nature and yourself. Karma yoga teaches us to be humble and let go of our desires to receive recognition for any acts of kindness we do and this is a good way to do something with a good intention. Looking after nature is like looking after our body, because physically we are connected with all that is around us.

Take a walk barefoot

World Earth DayOne of the best ways to connect with Mother nature is to walk barefoot. This can be on a beach, in a park or on any land really. Connecting our skin to the earthy energy provides us with stability and grounding. Doing so, we also activate Mooladhara, the root chakra, the energy system in the body located at the base of our spine governing our stability and feeling safe and protected in the world. Practice a walking meditation and with every step
you take, feel the soles of your feet connecting with the earth. Here you can also do the Hawaiian forgiveness practice, known as Ho’oponopono, a beautiful way for a spiritual cleanse but also to show your complete gratitude for nature. Close your eyes and practice Ho’oponopono towards nature with an intention of love and honesty: I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you. Show your love, gratitude and appreciation for it.

Plant something

Gardening is not for everybody, but once in a while, it’s good to get your hands in soil and plant something. Planting a seed teaches us to be patient and trusting in the process. It’s like giving life to something. If you don’t have a garden, you can go to a forest and plant a small tree somewhere. It’s about learning to recognise the beauty of nature and the vitality provided by the earth for all living beings. Plants are living organisms and they require just as much nurture and care as we do in order to develop and grow. The kind earthy energy provides this for us all, and being involved in the process is a humbling and unique experience.

 

Karma Yoga

Hatha Yoga

Asana practice is a great way to become more connected with the Earthy energy and bring stability and grounding within the body. Standing asanas teach us to connect our feet to the ground beneath us and feel in tune with the energy provided by Mother Earth. A great 5 asana sequence to try for this is:

1. Tadasana/Mountain pose
2. Utkatasana/Fierce pose
3. Vrksasana/Tree pose
4. Virabhadrasana II/Warrior II
5. Virabhadrasana III/Warrior III

Each of these asanas require us to have the soles of our feet on the ground completely and to find our physical balance. They also build strength in the ankles and the leg muscles. When working on this sequence, it’s best to bring your awareness to the lower part of the body, to the legs and the feet and notice how you are feeling as you become more still. If you find it hard to keep your balance, continue to practice and imagine there is a string connecting your feet to the mat or the ground.

 

About the Author

Miriam Indries is a published author, yoga and meditation teacher, passionate about holistic healing. She is also a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner and NLP coach. A keen traveller, wondering soul and student of life, Miriam is the creator of Self-Elevation.com, online platform empowering others to find their greatness.

True Nature Travels Blog

5 powerful affirmations to bring love

 

February is the month when we celebrate love. Although Valentine’s Day is a celebration of the love between two people involved in a romantic relationship, love should be celebrated in all encounters. We also don’t need a specific day to remind us of it, but since it is there, why not take this opportunity to connect with the love you have within, spread it around and attract it from everywhere.

Here are five powerful affirmations you can use this February, to bring the energy of love into your life.

The first affirmation is a bonus one and the base of all the others which follow. You can always say this to yourself at any point throughout the month. Choose an affirmation from the remaining four for each week and say it daily to yourself, every day for that week, repeating it three times just as you wake up and before you start your day ahead.

1. I am worthy of love.

5 powerful affirmations to bring loveAffirm your worth! You have to believe in yourself and your right to be loved. Love can come from different sources and can be manifested in various ways. It also responds to the type of energy we choose to put out there in the world. When you affirm to yourself that you are worthy of love, you will then attract it in your life. Because your energy vibration aligns itself with the same kind externally. However, if you don’t believe that you are worthy, your experiences of love will continue to fit within the same patterns until you realise that you are in fact worthy of it. Start this February with good vibes, giving and attracting love. It’s always available to us, we just have to be open to it.

2. I love myself unconditionally for all that I am in the present moment.

The external relationships and social encounters we form through our life are very important. We are part of a collective consciousness that needs to 5 powerful affirmations to bring lovebe nurtured through compassionate and kind behaviours between individuals. But the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. Ultimately, it all begins with love, as it is the most powerful gift we have been given. Learn to love yourself unconditionally just as you are in the present moment, and not for what you have been or what you could be. We often put so much pressure on ourselves to look a certain way or to reach a specific status, and only then we believe we would be much happier with ourselves. But happiness is already part of us right now, don’t sabotage yourself by trying to be a different way. Accept all that you are in the present moment, and if change is required, do it from a place of self-love and kindness with yourself.

3. I choose to spread love everywhere I go.

5 powerful affirmations to bring love-3I have an infinite amount of unconditional love within me which I share with and others. The most precious aspects we can give to others are our time, presence and love. Regardless of how others choose to behave towards you, answer back with love. This doesn’t mean you have to let yourself be treated poorly, it just means that you do not take it personally and choose not to respond the same way. Often times, when others are unkind towards you, it has nothing to do with you, but instead with them. So make the conscious choice to lead with love. It is said that if you want to create a positive impact in the world, do it with your actions instead of words. Spreading love everywhere you go makes a bigger positive impact than you think, even if others don’t show it back to you.

4. I choose to do everything with love.

Whatever you are currently doing with your life, are you doing it from a place of love? You are a unique soul and your contribution to the world is needed, but your 5 powerful affirmations to bring loveintention behind the way you contribute to the world should be pure and come from a place of love. When you do so, you put your heart and soul into it and this reflects on its results and the energy you put in the world. We might not always love what we do and that is ok. We are allowed to have our off days and this happens usually because what we do is not aligned with what we are here to do purposely. But you can always shift your mindset and the way you perceive things, and when you choose to do something out of love, this will instantly uplift your vibration and the reaction of your actions.

5. I love the environment and I thank it for being my home.

5 powerful affirmations to bring love-5Giving love, thanks and respect to Mother Nature should always be at the top of our list. It is our home after all, and the role it plays in our life is immense. Without nature, we wouldn’t exist, not in the way we do anyway. Connect with nature and be respectful towards your environment. This will help you realise that you are one with all that is around you, therefore expanding your vision about life in general. When you love and respect the environment, you also love yourself, your peers, the animals, the nature and everything else that co-exists with you.

 

About the Author:

Miriam Indries is a published author, yoga and meditation teacher, passionate about holistic healing. She is also a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner and NLP coach. A keen traveller, wondering soul and student of life, Miriam is the creator of Self-Elevation.com, online platform empowering others to find their greatness.

 

 

True Nature Travels Blog

Maintain-Gratitude-holidays-4December is a period of tumultuousness, both within nature and within ourselves. The trees are finally submitting to winter as neighborhoods complete the transition between life and death, bright leaves giving way to bare limbs and frosty mornings, and we are assaulted with stress: the stress of hosting dinners, or traveling to visit relatives; the stress of keeping your composure around those family members that seem to thrive on negativity — even the stress of the holidays looming so close around the corner as every store begins to blast themed music.

It can be extremely easy to lose yourself in such a time, embracing your discomfort or dislike rather than the important reminder in the very name of the upcoming holiday: to give thanks. That is precisely why it is more important than ever that you maintain a grateful attitude as it approaches and passes; you’ll find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more satisfied as the snow begins to fall. Whether you’re traveling down the street, across the country, or are hosting the Holiday feast yourself, here are three ways to maintain gratitude.

 

Keep A Gratitude Journal

How often do you consider the beauty of snow rather than how cold it is or the fact that you have a family to celebrate with, no matter how much they may drive you up the wall? Ignoring your own fortune — regardless of how insignificant it may seem in the moment — is the fastest way to misery.

If you find yourself struggling with the mental act of cataloging what you’re thankful for, make it physical instead: purchase a gratitude journal and write in it every day. Remember how lucky you were to see that puppy on your way to work, or how beautiful the clouds looked as the sun set behind them on your way home. Every moment has meaning once you train your mind to understand it, and a gratitude journal is the best way to start.

 

Express Gratitude Through Social Media

Too often has social media been used to tear others down as ungrateful people use the power of language for cruelty and debasement rather than to further positivity and show kindness. The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to put some Good into the world for a change, and even has a contagion-like effect: if you notice a friend or family member posting negative or unhappy things, remind them of a sweet and pleasant memory the two of you shared and encourage them to expound on it. Breaking the habit of ungratefulness takes hard work, but just as misery loves company, so too does positivity.

 

Remember What You Love About Those Negative Family Members

No family is perfect; we all have flaws, from stubbornness to insecurity and everything in between. While the holidays may not be nonstop enjoyable and ideal, they are almost never wholly awful. When dealing with those family members that cause friction, either for the entire group or just for you, try to look beyond their actions and remember the good moments you have shared. Just like the social media expressions of gratitude, try to inspire them to join along in the “remember when” experience; if the issues are long-standing and voicing positive memories seems impossible, just hold them in your mind — maybe even jot them down in your gratitude journal later that evening. Expressing gratitude even for those individuals that cause you pain or discomfort is an excellent way to manage unresolved conflicts.

The best part about practicing gratitude is that, if you work at it enough and are truly committed to bettering your outlook, it has a long-lasting impact on your life. As you grow more appreciative of the little things, those subtle but crucial moments, you’ll become happier. Changing your attitude to see the brighter side of life will make every day — not just the holidays — a day to be grateful for.

 


About the Author

Matt-O'Grady-blogMatt O’Grady has always been interested in what can’t be seen but what can be felt, and experienced. He always knew there was so much more to himself, to life, to being a human on the planet, and he has found that in studying psychology, emotional awareness, consciousness, mysticism, meditation, spirituality and working and playing with his self-development.

Matt studied Psychology in college at Hofstra University and has worked in Marketing for the last 25 years. Starting off at the book publishing company Harcourt, Inc. in his corporate career, then moving into Magazine Publishing he then launched his own magazine and custom publishing company, and now in addition to Matt O’Grady Coaching, owns and operates the Digital Marketing Company, HarmoniaMedia.com. Author of Living Gratitude: A Simple Path to Happiness, which has received rave reviews from its readers. Matt also has his own Matt O’Grady Coaching Podcast, 7 years running with over half a million downloads, where he teaches his audience about meditation, self-awareness, how to be happier, more successful, appreciative of the present moment, and deeply grateful. He lives with his wife and 7-year-old son, Patrick, in Huntington, New York.

 

True Nature Travels Blog

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. “-Gandhi

Karma yoga is the school of yoga that teaches us to be of service to the world without any expectation in return. We are unique souls brought together on this planet and our contribution is needed. We often underestimate that we can make a difference, when in fact we have all the tools to do so. Having the right intention to be of selfless service is at the core of karma yoga.

Here are 5 ways to practice karma yoga during your travels or at home.

Nature clean-ups5-karma-yoga-ideas-nature-clean-up

You don’t need to be part of an environmental organization to contribute to the natural environment we are in. Whether you are traveling to an exotic destination, or hanging out at your local beach, why not do some good while you’re at it. Grab yourself some gloves for hygiene reasons a couple of bags (eco-friendly would be ideal) and start picking up some of the rubbish. Looking after Mother Nature also means creating a more harmonious internal environment for the self.

Give to our furry friends

5-karma-yoga-ideas-nature-clean-up

These days, many animal charities operate like businesses so even volunteers will need to fill out a lot of paper work and the process can sometimes take way too long. If this is the case, seek another way to help the animals. Almost every place in the world will have stray cats or dogs roaming around the place, looking for food and shelter. Take an hour of your day and a few dollars from your pocket and feed the strays. Remember that we are all souls living together on this planet, it doesn’t matter if you are a human or an animal.

Help out a local in need

If you find yourself on an island or in a small village during your travels, you will most likely meet locals who have a small business to make ends met. These people rely on tourists to5-karma-yoga-ideas-help-localmake a living and they put a lot of work to make sure they have enough to provide. Ask how you can help out; maybe you can wash dishes for a day, or help them clean up; you could even find a local who works on a field and give your time by spending the day with them picking fruits or helping them in their agricultural routine. Whatever it is that you can help with, ask and there will always be a way.

Tis’ the season of giving

5-karma-yoga-ideas-giveAs the festive season approaches, there are plenty of ways we can give back to those in need. The truth is we could all do with a little bit more compassion and kindness. Whether you are a wondering soul on the road these holidays, or spending time in your city, allocate some time to bring joy to somebody else’s journey. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or spend your day at an elderly home. Time is the most precious gift we can offer to one another.

 

Share your talents with the world

Karma Yoga

Karma yoga is also about acknowledging your gifts and how you can share these with others. If you’re traveling to a country where they don’t have the resources for learning
English and this is your primary language, why not share your natural ability and help out? For the creatives out there, you can devote your time to your craft and create unique Christmas cards for your loved ones with a message of hope, love or joy. Sometimes even offering a helping hand to a family member or being a good listener is enough to make a difference.

We all have a purpose and many often feel lost not knowing theirs. I have learned that by asking the universe the simple question of “How could I best be of service to the world?” This will bring in new opportunities for you to contribute and make a difference. You attract the energy you put out in the world and when you focus enough on bringing something good for the planet, what you seek will come to you eventually.

 

About the Author

 

Miriam Indries is a published author, yoga and meditation teacher, passionate about holistic healing. She is also a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner and NLP coach. A keen traveller, wondering soul and student of life, Miriam is the creator of Self-Elevation.com, online platform empowering others to find their greatness.

True Nature Travels Blog

Every November, our culture finds a sudden appreciation for gratitude. We start to hear “what
are you thankful for?” on every corner as people shop for turkey and prepare their
Thanksgiving feasts. While I love this holiday, and the reminder to be grateful it brings, I believe
gratitude is something we should focus on more than just once a season.

It is part of my practice to focus on gratitude on a daily basis. Before sleeping each night, I try to
remember one thing I am grateful for. Somedays, it’s harder than others. Just the other day I had a rough, long work day. I came home feeling exhausted and angry. I didn’t want to be grateful. I wanted to cry and sleep and ignore the world around me. But my practice has taught me that I can cry, sleep, be angry, and still find a way to be grateful. Because there is always something to be grateful for. Are you struggling to find gratitude in your life? Here is a list of questions and activities that allow my to instill more gratitude in my days. I hope it will do the same for you!

1. What is one thing that made you smile today?
2. How does your body serve you on a daily basis?
3. Name three people who love you. What do they love about you?
4. Take a walk around your neighborhood. List all the beautiful things you see, small or large.
5. Breathe in. Breathe out. What does your breath allow you to do?
6. Find three things in your house you use every day. How do they help you?
7. Write down the name of one person that makes your life better. Now list all the ways they do so. This can be a family member, a friend, a pet, a colleague… everyone counts!
8. Look around. What do your eyes allow you to see?
9. Find something that smells nice (essential oils, vanilla extract, a vase of flowers…whatever appeals to you!) and take a big, deep inhale of the scent. Now write down some of your favorite smells. What memories do those scents bring to mind?
10. Listen. Sit for five minutes and write down everything you hear. How do your ears make life easier? What are some of your favorite sounds?
11. What is your favorite food? Treat yourself to this tonight. But take your time. Take small bites and really savor the taste. Write down some things you notice as you taste. What makes this meal so delicious? Why is it your favorite?
12. Collect three things from around your home that have different textures. Sit with each one. Rub them between your fingers and write down everything you observe about the different textures. As you walk around today, pay extra close attention to the texture of everything you touch.
13. Find a place in nature (local parks work too!) and take a seat. Look at clouds and the sun. Smell the trees. Dig your fingers into the dirt. Listen to the birds in the trees. Write down all the ways nature serves you.

 

About the Author

 

Sarah DittmoreSarah Dittmore, the Director of Operations at True Nature Travels, is always seeking a new adventure. When she’s not barefoot hiking in the mountains of Peru, kayaking around an island off the coast of Italy, or camping in a rainforest in Costa Rica, Sarah writes about her adventures on her travel blog, Autobiography of an Adventurer. Join her as she travels the world and documents the wild and wonderful things she discovers along the way at www.autobiographyofanadventurer.com.

True Nature Travels Blog

Fall is here and Autumn foliage is upon us! In the coming weeks, millions of leaves will be turning an array of different colors. As leaves stop producing chlorophyll, the deeper green leaves start to change and reveal their true colors– a process called senescence. Autumn is a reminder that change is in the air and is a great excuse to embrace these transitions and learn about the trees that grow around us.

Fall is the perfect excuse to get lost, so put on your boots and layer up- it’s time to crunch in the leaves and feel the cool air on your skin! One of the perks of hiking in the fall is that there are less crowds and less traveled trails. It’s also the perfect opportunity to collect leaf specimens to bring home, press, and identify. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about pressing leaves for your own collection and tips that will help you to identify them.

  1. Start a field journal. Use a small notebook to help you take notes about when and where you find a leaf, and any other observations that might help with identification. Your notebook can also be a vessel to hold each leaf in place and keep its shape. 
  2. Choose leaves when they are young and have recently fallen from its tree. If you wait till a leaf is too mature and dry, it may be more prone to fading. Take a good look at each leaf and make sure there is no evidence of insects that may have feasted on it.

  1. Enjoy picking leaves that you find beautiful! With so many leaves out there, choose as freely as you wish. This is the best part!
  1. To prep for pressing, lay leaves separately on newspaper. Take a dry paintbrush and lightly clean the leaf, blotting off any moisture and sweeping any loose soil.

  1. Once they are completely dry, arrange leaves in layers of tissue paper, wax paper or newspaper before pressing. Be sure to tag each leaf with a scrap of paper next to it with brief notes for identifying.
  1. If you have a plant press, lay each leaf in a layer of the cardboard and gently screw the wood in place.
  1. For those that don’t have a plant press, gather two sheets of cardboard (size can be dependent on leaf haul) or two spare ceramic tiles covered in newspaper. Layer leaves between and use rubber bands or straps to secure together. You can also use an old heavy book as a press. Make sure that you don’t mind it getting a bit wrinkled or stained; the moisture from the leaves could damage the pages slightly. Thicker books are best, but any book will do as long as you add weight on top of it. Weight can be distributed in the form of a pile of books; these will not get damaged so it’s okay to use books you want to keep.

  1. Check the leaves every two or three days, and replace damp papers with dry ones. It will take 2-4 weeks before the leaves are dry.
  1. After your leaves dry, use your imagination! Create a leaf identification journal and identify your findings or create some art by placing the leaves in frames. Decorate for fall or place your leaves in a memory box to share throughout the rest of the seasons. You can visit https://www.arborday.org/trees/whattree/ to help you identify your collection.

 

About the Author:

Charlotte Gottenkieny, Director of Marketing & Digital Media at True Nature Travels, lives to create and travel. With an extensive background in art and design, she is always submersed in a project or three. Whether it is making sculpture, taking photos, formulating a new recipe, or running her design agency, she is always using her hands to create in some way. Charlotte loves the adrenaline rush of adventure. From scuba diving to trekking in high altitudes, she strives to discover new landscapes at every opportunity. Working with True Nature gives her inspiration to be able to share stories and connections made through seeing the world.