You can practice this either walking or seated by a tree or on a bench, whatever feels comfortable for you.
Nature plays such an important part in our physical and mental wellbeing. Another technique I invite you to try is mindful walking, whilst engaging all of the senses; the smell of the earth, the feeling the squelchy mud beneath, observing the squirrels racing up a tree, listening to rustling of the leaves and feeling that deep sense of gratitude for nature.
As well as the cardiovascular benefits of walking, combining it with mindfulness really helps to reduce any mental chatter and alleviates anxiety and stress.
There is increasing scientific evidence around nature and its affect on our wellbeing. I recently read that GPs in Doncaster and North London are prescribing 'green gyms', so patients can get involved in conservation projects. Results show that being in nature lowers cortisol levels and blood pressure, activates the parasympathetic nervous system, inducing relaxation, increases oxytocin levels, reduces stress and increases happiness. Hospital patients recover quicker from surgery when they have a green view and you might have heard of the Japanese practice of Forest Bathing, shinrin-yoku.
You don't have to be near woods or a forest to receive the benefits either, you can benefit by being in a park, somewhere green or a street with trees.
So, today I invite you to take your deep breathing outside into nature in a mindful way and share your experiences. Perhaps you already have a mindfulness walking practice and have experienced positive changes to your well-being or perhaps it's the first time you're trying this?