How to Make Camping a Spiritual Experience
For some camping is the most stressful activity one could possible conjour up. For others it is a relaxing, soothing and calming experience. If you relate your camping experiences more with the first scenario then you should consider making some changes so you can make camping a more enjoyable experience for yourself and others. Below are some ways to Nature meditation and on how to make a camping a spiritual experience so you can ditch the stress and bring on the smiles.
Yoga in the Woods
So I was in the woods, camping with my family. We woke up early because we couldn’t sleep, and met the day with cold cheese sandwiches around the camp fire. I got everything prepared for my kids, then rolled out the yoga mat and did my own yoga workout. Yoga in the woods was much more of a success than yoga on the beach. Yoga on the beach, I was thinking inside my own head about work and relationships, and wasn’t actually able to enjoy it very much. Yoga in the woods was a whole different experience. I felt the forest around me, the woodsmoke in my lungs and the soft echo of the breeze as it whispered through the trees. There were bugs on the yoga mat, that I had to shoe away while I was in Down Dog. The sticks and rocks beneath the mat were prickly on my feet, but so much fun because I never go barefoot anymore. Yes to this experience! Do yoga wherever you can!
Hike to an Overlook
Overlooks are scenic vistas that stretch out over mountains or foothills, allowing you a glimpse of the divine. Best reached through good old fashioned hard work, hiking out to an overlook can be a spiritual experience. If you have kids, you could climb to the top of a look out tower, or choose a well manicured trail to an overlook that has a guard rail. There are many options at a commercial campsite. If you are in the company of adults, or alone, the options are limitless. The greater the struggle to achieve the overlook, the more spiritual the experience. When you stand at the pinnacle of your journey, and look over the valley, snaking away into the distance, all your worries fade away. That hard-earned glimpse of creation, no matter what you believe, leaves you breathless. There’s nothing like an adrenaline high from a great workout, paired with a beautiful vista to get you singing glory.
Sleep out Under the Stars
I remember out in Washington State, one night under the stars, I could see the entire Milky Way. Lying on my back, in the pitch dark, away from any vestiges of city life, the sky opened so I thought I might fall up into the vastness of space. Even on the west Coast, if you find a spot devoid of trees, where a little star gazing from the sleeping bag is in order, the experience can be a spiritual one.
Share it with Friends and Family
Camping allows us all to turn off the television, to shut down the game system and leave the multiple comforts of every day life. Even car camping forces us to do without many of the conveniences and traditional entertainment we all rely on. We really get to know our family and friends when we go out into the wilderness together. Conversation and shared experiences become the norm instead of texting and email. Camping bonds us, takes us out of our element and puts us back in touch with the simpler things in life. Good friendship, love and s’mores are all you really need for the sweetest trip of your life.
Author: Gretchen Elhassani