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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > August 2019 > Sun salutations

Sun salutations

Traditional societies around the world celebrate nature and the changing seasons with ancient rituals. Summer is a wonderful time to get outside and share them, and deepen our relationship with the earth, writes Jini Reddy

The nature ritual that I practise is a low-key affair – but it is the most heartfelt way that I connect with the earth. I go for a stroll after breakfast, find a spot in a meadow and sit on a log. I close my eyes, soak in the stillness and remember that whatever is happening in my life, right now I am OK, and I am aligned with the earth goddess Gaia.

It comes into its own in summer, when I want to move slowly, linger, delight in, and bear witness to the beauty around me: gardens bursting with life, trees in full leaf, flowers in bloom, aphrodisiac scents…

I’m fortunate to have a quiet wooded trail at the end of my street, leading to green spaces and a small lake. On a hot summer’s day, it’s a personal paradise and the pressure of work and any worries fade. As a ritual, it’s simple and requires no skill, but I couldn’t thrive without it.

In cultures around the world, nature rituals are part of life and often, like mine, they are small and meaningful. At their core, they are about deep connection – a reciprocal giving and taking, and commitment to caring for nature. Here are some summer rituals practised around the world, from which to draw inspiration

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