I recently returned from leading a 200hr Yoga Teacher Training in the mountains of North, GA where I invite my students to join me in nature for two weeks in order to learn the truest meaning of the word Yoga (to connect). I firmly believe that in order to teach ANYTHING in this world, we must first understand it, which is why I teach immersive-style trainings where the external distractions of what many call the “real world” are not influencing us. I teach early on that we are not here to memorize things, but to truly understand, feel, experience, and embody the philosophy of yoga.
Of course my students were on this journey to receive and complete their YTT Certification, but they quickly realized this was a journey to thySelf… We used the teachings of the 8 Limbs of Yoga to understand the power of Self-Realization in a world that is trying to distract us from that. And for us, BEing with Nature, in Nature, and of Nature put everything into perspective very quickly.
We took these two weeks to not only learn, but to literally reset our systems. We awoke with the sun, we practiced yoga early in the morning on an empty stomach, we ate whole, nourishing foods, we had no television, target, or wifi… it was just us- as a tribe-immersed in the natural world.
I’m not going to lie- this wasn’t all fluffiness, rainbows, and unicorns at first. It was hard. There were lots of tears, intense breakthroughs, surpressed memories coming to surface, homesickness, nervousness, and more… We were pulled out of our “natural” habitats and honestly put back into our NATURAL habitat and it felt foreign to many. This is totally normal because of the modern world we live in where our eyes are fixed on screens, there’s always noise in the background of our homes, the lights everywhere we go are fluorescent, the food is made of chemicals, etc… we’ve settled into accepting (and sometimes preferring) this as our “natural” habitat. WHY? Because society tells us we SHOULD. Because we’re being sold that THIS is the way to success. Because we crave distraction and noise so that we don’t have to actually DEAL with our inner workings, our thoughts, our feelings. Because we’ve been conditioned to put bandaids on everything in our lives. Dearest Tribe, let me tell you something I know for sure: Not one thing about the way we are living in our “natural” habitat is sustainable and if we don’t, as a society, make a shift, things are going to get extremely dreadful very quickly.
“Mother Earth is more powerful than ANY human force. Mother Earth is going to be just fine. She’s going to rejuvenate, transform, and recreate herself. The question is: are we going to continue to live here, with her? Is the human species going to be a part of this expression?” -Sri Mati
As our YTT came to an end/new beginning, we kept saying, “I don’t know how I’m going to reintegrate back into the ‘real’ world” or “I’m not ready for the ‘real’ world” or “Now, the ‘real’ world awaits.”
We quickly changed our perspective on this, though, as we gathered for our final day on the mountain. We took a mindful, silent walk through the forest together where we eventually arrived at the healing cascades of a massive waterfall. We held hands and chanted “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha” (I have the power to remove any obstacles that come my way and clutters my path) at the top of our lungs, then we each took a moment underneath the cleansing, yet heavy waters to once and for all purify ourselves in honor of integrating back into the world that awaited us at “home” with all the magic from this powerful two weeks in the glory of Mother Earth. After that, we truly realized and finally believed that in actuality, THIS is the REAL world. The real world is not one with non-stop noise, screens, and fluorescent lights- the REAL world is when we exist in connectivity with nature. WHY? Because everything we need to learn about anything, including ourselves, can be experienced in the natural world.
Mother Earth holds space for us to conquer our fears, to grow, to f*ck up, to get back up, and level up. She is the ultimate teacher in unconditional love and yet we spend most of our days indoors and glued to things or eating things that are completely depleting our wholeness. And we wonder why it is that we exist in a society where most people struggle with unworthiness, self doubt, and self judgement- it’s simply because we often forget to return to the REAL world, to our NATURAL habitat, to our HOME…
And to be honest, this is the main reason we dreamed up the idea for the moonlit app. We knew we couldn’t merely write articles like this or just lead retreats… we needed to meet the tribe in a space that felt “natural” only to return us to a state that is actually NATURAL. This doesn’t mean we must get rid of the devices all together, but at least start to observe how you typically fill your time during an average day vs what actually FILLS you up. To be honest, life is simply too sacred not to tune in and wake up to the magic of the Natural World. And one of the easiest ways to do so is by tuning in to the moon and FEELING her energetic pull. When one tunes in to the wisdom of the moon, you’ll begin to notice what seems like “coincidences” which are really just YOU living in alignment. You’ll read what we share on the moonlit app or on our social media and realize that it is exactly what you’ve been feeling/experiencing in your life. The offerings from MOONLIT simply help guide you down the path of surrender. It will strengthen your trust muscles (in yourself, the universe, and God). It will shine a light on your unique journey in a way that will lead you back HOME to your NATURAL habitat, in the REAL world, living the life of your dreams.
5 Ways to Live in the Real World:
1.Go outside: Seems obvious, but so often we forget. Is there a spot outside your home/apt where you can sit every single morning to have your morning tea, coffee, or tonic? This can be a porch, a patch of grass, or even your stoop/balcony. Literally anywhere outside. Make it special and sacred. You could light incense or a candle, maybe you plant a new plant that makes you smile, perhaps finding a great meditation cushion, pillow, or chair that is inviting and comfortable. Make this space one you will CRAVE visiting every morning before you begin the rest of your day. No need to DO anything, just sit outside, listen, and BE with Her Majesty.
2.Go for a walk: I don’t know about you, but around 2:00, I’m in a major slump… I need energy, but caffeine will keep me up at night- so there is nothing more divine than an afternoon walk to clear my head, tune in, and bask in nature. I love visiting our River and climbing the rocks or hitting a nearby trail. Find a space that truly makes you feel RICH… For me, I had to stop walking at our neighborhood park because although outside, it literally pulled me from the natural world. The path is unnatural, there are baseball fields, and cars flying by. If this is all you have, it’s certainly better than nothing, but if you can find space to truly immerse yourself in nature, it will amplify your experience ten fold. When I lived in NYC and ATL, I found such connectivity in the depths of Central Park and Piedmont Park- there are some amazing trails right in the middle of the city that are truly immersive.
3.Gather Nature: There is nothing more healing/cleansing to me than taking a break from the computer to go outside and TOUCH nature. I love taking a 10 minute walk through our yard farm to pick wildflowers and make a bouquet of color, rosemary, and sage. I take the time to truly LOOK at the flowers, studying their unique shades and designs, I breathe in the aromatic properties of the herbs, instantly feeling connected and soothed. I also adore visiting a nearby park and collecting fallen pine needles/cones, which fall in perfect little bundles, that look gorgeous in mason jars around the house. Even collecting sticks/stones to arrange in vases or around your living space is an amazing way to connect with the Earth.
4.Eat WHOLE foods. Shoot for just one meal a day that is completely whole- meaning composed solely of natural ingredients from the Earth. One meal will eventually turn into two meals… two into three and soon, without even realizing it, we’ve shifted naturally back to eating the way we were deigned to eat in order to live a life of vibrancy and wellbeing.
5.Tune in to the MOON: Obviously, I had to throw this one in there! Seriously, though- one of the easiest ways to sync with the natural world is to surrender to the flow of the moon’s pull. When we become aware of her various energies and flow WITH her, we will find that life becomes a lot less forceful and a lot more fluid. The moonlit app is a great tool for that- especially if you take full advantage of our New/Full Moon Rituals/Meditations… but also just BEing outside under her illumination- staring into the vastness of the night sky- and realizing just how incredible it is to be HERE right now. The night sky will truly put the REAL world into perspective in an instant.
We want to know how you’re reconnecting with the REAL world! Let us be inspired by each other- we just love watching this tribe expand together.
Let’s Get L.I.T!!