PLAYING YOUR PART IN THE SYMPHONY: An Excerpt from WILD YOGA by Rebecca Wildbear
Published on February 14, 2023
In Wild Yoga, wilderness guide, yoga instructor, and author Rebecca Wildbear empowers readers to create a personal yoga practice that melds health and well-being with spiritual insight, Earth stewardship, and cultural transformation. Whether you are new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, the vibrant approach she offers on connecting to the natural world and living from your soul while addressing environmental activism will help you discover greater levels of love, purpose, and creativity, along with the active awareness we know our planet deserves. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.
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Nature is an unrelenting symphony. Everywhere there is life, there is song. Flowers bloom. Mountains stand. The moon glows. The planet is always singing. Each note is a unique contribution that tends to the well-being of the whole. Humans are meant to live in sync. For decades, I have asked trees and birds, ocean and sky, canyons and creeks to help me be as authentic and soulful as they are. The world needs the bitter and resonant cry of every creature, even humans, attuning with the song of the world.
We can connect to our bodies, hearts, and souls and bring our presence to the unfolding moment. And remember how to play in the improvisational spontaneity of the universe. Lying under an oak, I am mesmerized by the long, wavy branches that stretch parallel a few feet above the ground. The shape of the oak’s branches reminds me of a song. Music is a human instinct found everywhere. It is a social glue that brings people together and creatively expresses what can’t be put into words. What if we could engage with each other and the world the way jazz musicians make music?
Playing our notes is not only a sound we make with our voices or instruments. It is our soul taking form through the shapes we make with our lives when we embody the truth of our nature, live our purpose, and offer ourselves in relational flow with other humans and the Earth. Those who live their souls are playing their notes, being their melody.
The Earth needs us to become who we are. Perhaps she longs for humans to honor and contribute to her magnificence. Wild Yoga is rooted in the song of the Earth. Our souls can only be lived in union, playing our notes while attuning to the symphony that connects us to ourselves, others, the land, and those who came before and will go after.
Wild Yoga Practices for Playing Your Part in the Symphony
Attune to the world and explore ways to play your part. Trusting what you have to offer or hearing those around you may take time.
• Listen to the songs of ancient cultures or your ancestors. What do they evoke in your heart, body, and imagination? Journal about or move to embody what you discover.
• Wander in the wilderness. Listen to the sounds you hear from trees, water, wind, insects, and birds and the sounds you experience visually and through your other senses. Notice what or who allures you. Engage by offering sounds or movement in response.
• Go out on the land and play. Offer your melody. If you don’t know what that is, explore different sounds or movements. Perhaps create a song for the land and sing it aloud. Notice where you feel drawn to offer your song. Listen for anything you hear back.
• Track your dreams. Do any of them carry the theme of ancestral music, playing your note, or hearing the world’s symphony? Speak one of your dreams aloud in nature, using the present tense, and then enact it. Play your part by embodying what the dream asks.
• Go to a wild place and witness how the land plays. Notice how each being engages with all the others in an improvisational movement. Try joining in. Let go of expectations and see what co-arises mutually.
• Do you feel conflicted about playing your note in a broken world? Or about how to harmonize with the natural world when our dominant culture is killing the other voices? Wander on the land and share your questions and feelings. Ask for help.
Rebecca Wildbear is the author of Wild Yoga: A Practice of Initiation, Veneration & Advocacy for the Earth. She is also the creator of a yoga practice called Wild Yoga, which empowers individuals to tune in to the mysteries that live within the earth community, dreams, and their own wild nature so they may live a life of creative service. She has been leading Wild Yoga programs since 2007 and also guides other nature and soul programs through Animas Valley Institute. Visit her online at http://www.rebeccawildbear.com.
Excerpted from the book Wild Yoga: A Practice of Initiation, Veneration & Advocacy for the Earth. Copyright ©2023 by Rebecca Wildbear.