The Incredible Scientific Health Benefits of Practicing Yoga in Nature


“Get lost in nature and you will find yourself”  – unknown


Most of us modern yogis and productive members of society live in a constant non-stop, busy, and task-focused world where we spend most of our time indoors surrounded by smartphones, computer screens, electronic gadgets, and artificial light. 


We’ve created many wonderful and useful things, projects, and businesses but it has come at a cost. 


We’re now more disconnected than ever from Mother Nature. 


Ancient yogis and many other wise groups and cultures like the Native American tribes of North America have always known that when human beings become disconnected from nature we suffer. 


We may have more resources, information, and supplies at our fingertips than ever before, but it’s also true that we are increasingly sick, fatigued, depressed, anxious, and unfulfilled. 


Is this mental and physical health crisis a coincidence? 


Thanks to growing research and scientific studies it’s becoming increasingly clear that it is no coincidence at all. 


This health crisis is an opportunity for us to return back to our roots – to return back to Nature in order to reset and heal. 


Practicing yoga outside in nature is the perfect antidote to feeling sick, unwell, tired, anxious, depressed, or frustrated because it helps to restore harmony in the body. 


Yoga in nature helps us experience union with our environment


The overall objective of true yoga practice is to experience unity and connection in ourselves and our bodies first and foremost and then with the external world around us.


Embodying yoga in nature helps us to re-establish this union and connection with our environment. 


Practicing outside in nature, especially surrounded by trees or in a forest, can help you become more still, calmer, more present, and more aware. 


It heightens your senses and self-awareness. 


It helps you feel more connected to your body, your senses, and your breath. 


As above, so below


Yogis believe in the phrase: “As above so below.” 


This describes our relationship and connection with the heavens, universe, cosmos, etc. and also our connection to Mother Earth. 


The forces above elevate us and our consciousness, and the forces below keep us grounded and balanced. 


As Above: Increased Prana & Vitamin D


Yoga in nature connects us to the sky, the air element, and to the sun’s life-giving energy. 


Sun energy is a major component of yoga practice because it’s regarded as a major source of prana (vital energy). 


Prana is the invisible life force that flows through our body’s channels (nadis) and energy centers (chakras). 


When prana flows freely and without blockage, we experience optimal physical, mental, and emotional health and wellness. 


Blockages and low flow currents of prana create dis-ease and dis-comfort in our body, mind, and moods. 


Yogis created an entire sequence of postures to honor and acknowledge the sun called Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar). 


Practicing a few rounds of Sun Salutations in nature builds heat in the body (Tapas), and helps to create healthy energy flow and a fresh infusion of prana (vital energy).


Luckily science has caught up to ancient yogic wisdom.  


Multiple studies have shown that Vitamin D, the only vitamin our skin produces in response to the sun’s rays, is crucial to our physical and mental health and well-being. 


About half of the global population experiences low Vitamin D levels. (1)


Low Vitamin D levels are linked to:  



Having a regular yoga practice in nature can help your body produce more Vitamin D, although you may still need additional supplementation. 


Optimal Vitamin D levels help the body become stronger and more resilient: 



As Below: More Grounding (Earthing) & Prana


Practicing yoga in nature, especially on bare feet helps the body to connect with the Earth’s healing frequency. 


Since we spend so much time indoors we don’t take advantage of this simple yet powerful opportunity to strengthen our bodies and minds. 


Research says that the act of placing your bare feet on the ground helps you to absorb the Earth’s electrons and balancing electromagnetic energy. 


You become like a sponge soaking it all up, and this translates to the following benefits: (2)(3)



Science says this is what forest bathing & yoga can do to your body: 


In 1982 Japan launched a national health program centered around forest bathing or what they called ‘Shinrin-Yoku” (taking in the forest atmosphere).  


Since then, they’ve been researching the mental and physical health benefits of soaking in nature and forest energy in particular.  


Studies have shown that spending time amongst trees and greenery is not only great for our mental health, it also causes a major boost in our immune system. 


Forest bathing can increase the count of natural killer cells (NK) in the body. (4) 


These cells are essential for immunity and help prevent infections from progressing.  


Breathing in forest air and mindfully visiting amongst the trees has also shown to lower stress hormones such as cortisol. (5)  


Since yoga practice merges mindfulness with movement and breathwork, it is the perfect adjunct to forest bathing.  


A regular practice in nature can really serve as preventative medicine. 









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Go Green


Well to me, “going green” means understanding that we are all part of one planet with resources that must be sustained and in balance with our needs. We cannot expect Mother Earth to be depleted endlessly of her resources without some disastrous consequences. The same balance and honoring must take place within us all as micro eco systems of this larger eco system. Your body is an intricate web of systems trying to balance for optimum health. If you deplete your body of sleep, exercise and nutrition overtime, the delicate balance of our bodies function gets impaired by stress, which can lead to chronic illness. It can also impair hormone function, which impacts fertility function.

The choices we make for our bodies from what we put in it to what we put on it, not only impact ourselves, but the planet. Products that are made consciously with Organic ingredients and ethical practices support living in balance from the outside in and the inside out. When we buy plant and animal products that are raised without pesticides, hormones and antibiotics we are impacting the earth in a positive way because the trickle effect of runoff into our water and soil systems of those toxins are minimized, and the stress hormones in the animals and the quality of nutrition we receive from them is not compromised for the sake of quantity.

Please watch this Academy Award Nominated documentary to educate yourself why these principles are important for your personal health, the earth, and for the health of your future children.

Food, Inc.

Know the source of your products and the ingredients. Read labels, ask questions and educate yourself. Buy products to clean your home and body that are non-toxic and non petro-chemical based. I like the “Thieves” oil based products because they are non-toxic and possess aromatherapy benefits. Their toothpaste, mouthwash and cleaning products are some of my favorites.

Youngliving Oils

But most important understand that every choice you make has an impact somewhere, personally as well as globally and that we are all connected to this wonderful planet. So be conscious of your choices, and choose wisely for yourself and your children’s future. GO GREEN!

Earth Girlz Article

Brenda was featured in Earth Girlz here. Take a look!

EarthGirl Brenda, what makes you an EarthGirl?

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest at the foot of Mt. Hood surrounded by nature. Somehow I think simply by living in a national forest area and having conscious parents, I grew up loving to swim in creeks, hike, camp, and simply BE. We had family evening fires, recycled before it was cool to, and always had live music in the house. For birthdays we would go out in the woods and have a picnic. My dad taught me how to fish when I was six and for a good deal of my upbringing we didn’t have a T.V. so for entertainment we were out in nature. Whenever I needed to work out something emotionally, I would go to Boulder Creek and just sit on a boulder, watch the creek, listen to the cacophony around me and somehow all my issues would be soothed. Didn’t matter if it was raining or not, being outside and smelling the damp mossy earth, and walking through the woods was food for my soul. Speaking of food, my mom was always making granola or healthy cookies and baked bread. I remember the first time she brought a tray of wheat grass home! Now Dr. Greens are part of my daily morning smoothie…Even my Dad’s mother used to make fresh squeezed carrot juice and if we had any ailment apple cider vinegar was the cure all. So you might say it’s in the gene’s. I was always taught to respect the earth from both of my parents. They taught me to listen to her rhythms and make choices that give back more than you take. My Mom instilled in me her Native American lineage and philosophy, and I had friends as a girl who lived on the reservation when we lived in Canada for a few years, so I always felt connected to the old ways of how to see nature and myself as a part of that.

As a girl, I helped legislation get passed in 8th grade for a bike route up Hwy 26 so it would be safe for people who wanted to ride their bikes instead of drive. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me at the time because it was the right thing to do and someone had to speak up. Living in the city has taught me deep appreciation for what I took for granted growing up. In college I worked at an organic juice bar and voluteered at the local food co-op.

I also recycled my clothes at buffalo exchange instead of buying new ones. (part of that was being broke, part of it conscious choice!) My adrenals are definitely overworked in the city and that’s one of the reasons I turned to Yoga as a way to ground myself back into those rhythms. I also did my first master cleanse at the age of 19 which set me on a whole self education of whole food, detoxing, natural remedies and using food to regulate my energy, life force, and healing myself from the inside out. I have read so many books on conscious eating and tried so many different approaches from being a vegan, to eating raw, to macrobiotic incorporated the information to help keep myself healthy and feeling vibrant. In recent years, I’ve learned that balance is the key and enjoyment is essential to the quality of the vitality of your food. I became a Yoga teacher when I was pregnant with my son, (since I didn’t expect to do much acting that year, I thought I would take the teacher training and go deeper into my own practice.) Little did I know that would open up a whole journey into the world of Yoga, it’s healing capacity, and eventually lead me to develop my own Yoga program for women undergoing reproductive difficulties. I created the Strong Yoga® 4Fertility line of videos (Strong Yoga® 4Fertility, Strong Yoga® 4Partners and the soon to be released Strong Yoga® 4Pregnancy) My goal was to help return women to their natural connection to the Divine Feminine and allow their body’s natural hormonal balance to return and heal itself through Yoga, breathing and conscious consumption. I’ve been working with women for about 12 years now and the results have been phenomenal. I just recently licensed my Strong Yoga® 4Fertility teacher training to Yoga Works and am loving sharing this work with others who want to empower women on this journey. Being an actress is wonderful and I’m really grateful for the ability to have it support this other work that I’ve been developing. Part of my life purpose is to heal women and help them access their own power.

When did you become aware and fall in love with our planet and what did you do next? I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love this planet. I wish I had some really cool story of this magical moment in time when I realized it, but literally, it’s just been a part of me since I took my first breath. This is totally going to sound corny, but I am a tree hugger. Literally and figuratively. I joke that that’s why I’m so tall, cause I kept trying to be a tree. What I did next was realize that every choice I make has a ripple effect and try to make conscious choices from there. I’ve also tried to live by example, make an effort to give back, and make choices that don’t cause harm…one of the choices my husband and I made a few years ago was that we weren’t going to buy another car til it was completely free of oil consumption. He gets his 100% electric Tesla in July and I’m on the waiting list for the family 4-door all electric vehicle. In the meantime, I also ride my bike whenever I can to work.

What do you think is a simple change anyone can make to be more earth-conscious? Yes! They are all the little things that add up to the big things. I just did a PSA on industrialized farming and how damaging it is to the health of the planet and the health of our soil, water and ultimately ourselves. Buy local produce, or go to your local farmers market. Eat Organic as much as you can. Take your own bags to the grocery store. Use wax instead of plastic bags for your kids lunches. Buy things that aren’t overprocessed or packaged. Buy glass instead of plastic containers, fruit instead of juice(the fiber will do you good), and eliminate meat altogether. (and if you have to eat beef, go buffalo. They don’t consume as many resources to produce 1lb of meat as cows do.) Ride your bike with a basket to the store–you’ll get your exercise, buy less and enjoy the time more. Read labels, avoid anything you don’t recognize as food on the label. If you don’t know what it is, chances are your body won’t know what to do with it either. There are so many things now, buy complex florescent bulbs, our entire house is filled with them.

Read and be aware of the impact of your choices. Simplify…

What eco-aware or enviro-conscious product do you use or wear regularly? I love natural fibers and like to wear clothes without synthetics in it. I use all natural household products if I can and love the Meyers line of laundry, dish and home cleansers. The biggest change is using Young living oils now for my toothpaste, mouthwash, counter disinfectants, hand sprays and all of that. They are 100% natural essential oil based, medicinal and aroma therapeutic at the same time. My son loves Organic Hemp or Flax waffles for breakfast.

Picture this, you’re trapped on an island, with a tree that only grows one product. What is it? A coconut. It’s water is the closest in chemistry to plasma, so if I ever need a transfusion it’s my rescue remedy! It’s hydrating, really nutritious and can be used in so many dishes, from spicy to sweet. Plus, I can make bowls out of the shells, and if I was really innovative could build shelter with them if necessary. I actually have young baby coconuts in my fridge right now. I just cut off the top and stick a straw in it and I’m ready to go. The coconut meat is really alkaline too. And coconut butter heals all sorts of ailments (skin rashes, etc). There’s actually a great book called the Coconut Cure with all natural remedies.

What are your daily earth-friendly actions? All of the above. I try not to over consume. I remember looking up the word consumer several years ago and seeing that one of it’s meaning’s is “to destroy”, I am hoping that Americans can start to buy less and enjoy more.

Are you working on anything that we should know about that’s positively impacting our planet and its people?

By being on the Board of the American Fertility Association we are trying to educate younger women on how the environment, beauty products and food injected with hormones can start to compromise their ability to conceive, and that by using organic skin products and food they are using their buying power to send a message, but that they can also protect their fertility and the planet at the same time. Mother Earth has to be healthy for us to become mothers.

Click here to watch a sample of Strong's fertility video

I’m also on the Board of Events of the Heart, an amazing organization that educates women about their heart health risks through entertainment. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in America and I am trying to help educate women to know if they are at risk and what they can do to mitigate that through diet, exercise and education. Please donate anything, even just a dollar to either of these organizations if you can, they are both extraordinary and doing amazing work in the world for women.

My line of Strong Yoga® 4Fertility videos are being sold world wide to help women on their journey toward motherhood, help heal themselves. I love this work and am so excited to see women waking up to their own inherent power. Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day, Momma Jean!

IMPORTANT EG NOTE Make a wish! (Something. Anything.) May all sentient beings everywhere be free and know that they are an expression of the same life force that animates all living beings. So to harm the planet or another human being is to harm yourself. I hope that in my lifetime I can witness the evolution of man’s knowledge of himself, to know that “he is not a human being having a spiritual experience, but a spiritual being having a human experience.” We are all One.

Do EarthGirlz really have more fun?

You betcha!

What Kooky or interesting fun-facts should our viewers know about you? I love dark chocolate and just found the most insane raw chocolate dark cacao truffles at Whole Foods that are AMAZING. Ulimana is the brand, they are organic and raw and worth every penny. I also love to lie at the base of trees and look at the sky through their branches and listen to them in the wind. That’s pretty kooky…

IMPORTANT EG NOTE EarthGirl Brenda is working hard to educate women on fertility, healthy hearts and motherhood. Make sure to support her causes. And make sure to leave a comment and congratulate EarthGirl Brenda for being voted Mother of the Year.