For many of us the ocean means more than a simple dip on a hot summers day… it can represent a range of things such as connecting with mother nature and the energy she offers. It’s a place to gain wisdom, comfort and rejuvenation.
Not only is the natural beach environment beautiful visually, but its nurturing, mesmerising and healing. Water can become somewhat symbolic for many of us – offering an association with breath, calmness and clarity. It can also teach us some great life lessons.
Every day the ocean is different, it constantly changes, reforms and reinvents itself perfectly. It rides a wild storm and then in an unhurried manner recovers to its full glory with ease. This simple act itself reflects the impermanence of life perfectly. If only we could live by the oceans example, flow with the storm, let go of attachments, learn what we need to and with the same grace displayed by the sea, shine in the calmness and wisdom that follows.
Have you ever truly wondered why when we jump in the ocean our troubles feel like they have melted away?
Think about what our bodies are made of, the five elements – water, earth, fire, air and ether. These five elements are the basic constituents for all matter in varying proportions. As we are nature, it is no wonder our mind, body, soul and senses feel whole when we spend time at the beach.
The ocean makes us stop, be present and listen to our inner most voice. It is the perfect place to nurture our mind/body connection and stimulate the flow of our energetic life force (prana).
The Salty Water (Element: Water)
The salty sea water represents movement. It’s flowing, giving, powerful and therapeutic. Immersing ourselves in the vast body of water has so many benefits. The cool water and simply floating can assist in stimulating circulation and relaxation, whilst the salt is cleansing (the feeling you get when you get salt water up your nose is not dissimilar to the clearness you create when performing nasal cleansing with a netti pot) and the waves naturally wash away negative thoughts.
Natural anti-aging minerals such as magnesium, potassium and iodine are also ever present in the ocean. Knowing that our body is made up mostly of water and our biochemical constitution is similar to sea water, makes it hard not to understand why it’s such a restorative place for us to go to push our reset button.
The constant sound of the waves rhythmically crashing on the shore can affect your brain waves and somewhat lulls you into a state of calmness in the present moment.
The Sandy Shore (Element: Earth)
How amazing does it feel to walk barefoot across the sand, to ground yourself completely with nature and feel the support and happiness it brings. Known as earthing, the theory is that electrical energy from the earth can be absorbed through your feet when you walk barefoot. Hence, I suggest you even try rolling in the sand like a child… I am telling you it feels amazing and guess what… You can be washed off in seconds!
Repeated direct contact with the sand also serves as the perfect natural exfoliant, gently rubbing off dead skin. Plus freeing your feet from shoes is a massive benefit to your circulation and aids in the development of improved proprioception (Which simply means the mind is in touch with the stimuli coming from your feet!).
Sunshine (Element: Fire)
The feeling of sunshine on your body activates all sorts of positive emotions and health benefits. The warmth lights up your spirit and life force – after all the element fire has the power to ignite the sun, moon and stars – so of course it has the power to do the same in you.
This warmth supports your digestion, reduces stress and improves sleep. Vitamin D is obviously abundant on a sunny day at the beach, and it has been shown to help improve calcium absorption, autoimmune response and mood. Just watch over-exposure and adapt the length of time you hang-out in the rays to your body type (dosha). Learn more about Ayurveda here.
Ocean Air (Element: Air)
Breathing in the ocean and drinking in its wonderful therapeutic qualities is a healing ritual in itself. It is an amazing way to cleanse the lungs and clear emotional blockages causing a disruption in your energy flow.
Sea air is charged with negative ions and natural chemicals which can help balance moods and stress levels. Air is vital for our survival; it’s about exchange and movement.
Life breath (prana) stimulates the vital act of respiration for all living things which essentially rejuvenates our bodily systems and helps detox the body. Breathing fresh, clean ocean air supports our lungs, chest, thorax and the flow of prana.
The Space/Being Mindful (Element: Ether)
Ether is space; it’s a place where things (spiritual and physical matter) are on the verge of manifestation. It is this space that allows any matter such as earth, fire, water and air to exist. It is the primal source of all life and is everywhere. Being mindful and aware of this space can allow you to be present. To sit and meditate in this space amongst the elements can create amazing soulful changes both in your spiritual and physical world. The beach is space; it is vast and boundless, it is limitless.
It becomes obvious after consciously contemplating the energetic gifts the ocean freely offers us, that we need to value and protect it. If anything be sure to “leave nothing but footprints” and take 3 for the sea.
True magic is our connection to nature, and one of nature’s most magical gifts is the ocean. So get wet and enjoy the beauty, nurturing and wisdom awaiting you x
“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” – Wyland