June 21st marks International Yoga Day, where people around the world will celebrate a mind-body practice that has been around for centuries. What better way to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of yoga, than a session among healing plants and greenery.
According to Deloitte Global’s annual Millennial Survey, almost 48% of Gen Zs and 44% of millennials said they regularly feel anxious or stressed as they struggle to find balance in life. Fortunately, the importance of managing stress through mindfulness and a focus on emotional wellbeing is well recognised – in fact, 94% of Zennials agree that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.
There is where the importance of nature and routines such as yoga, which connects the body, mind and soul, come in. As we celebrate International Yoga Day on 21 June, Candide, the free gardening app, is calling on all yogis to be surrounded by green! Nature has long been known to have a positive impact on our mental functioning, social relationships and physical wellbeing, which is why yoga in your garden or green sanctuary is so beneficial.
Green is good for you
Green is a vibrant symbol of the environment and healthy living. Psychologists’ research into ‘restorative environments’ shows that we get mental and physical restoration from nature – even a glimpse of nature from a window helps. By doing yoga in a green space, you combine the health benefits of a centuries old practice and nature, two potent forces for improving mindfulness and relieving stress. Research from the American Psychological Association shows that simply by moving outside and engaging in some nature therapy, you will quickly feel refreshed, while being in nature also improves concentration and mindfulness (being in the moment).
Even if you’re not into sun salutations and downward dog, you can still feed your wellbeing by bringing plants into your garden and home.
Green living spaces
A big interior design trend is biophilic, which is about bringing the outside indoors. Introducing plants into your living spaces not only naturally brightens moods and enhances the overall appearance of the room, but research has also found that exposure to indoor plants brings about numerous health benefits, both psychological and physiological.
If you want to banish winter blues…
Some indoor plants are known as calming plants because they boost mood, productivity and creativity, help to reduce stress and fatigue, absorb toxins from indoor air and produce oxygen – and are quite simply therapeutic to care for! Great calming plants to add to your living space include the (very unscary!) spider plant (native to tropical and southern Africa) and the famously nutrient-rich aloe vera.
Colour your bedroom…
If you’re adding greenery to your bedroom, choose a plant that is known to help improve sleep. The snake plant, for example, is best for air purification, lavender is good for deeper sleep, while jasmine is ideal for relaxation.
In your bathroom…
Most plants like moisture… so the bathroom is a perfect tropical oasis for plants that prefer humidity and indirect lighting, like the beautiful moth orchid or the flowering evergreen peace lily.
The ultimate green app
If you’re not quite sure which plants are best suited to indoor and outdoor living and their various benefits, go to Candide, the free gardening app that connects green lovers across South Africa, from green rookies to evergreen experts, and helps gardeners and plant lovers understand their gardens better. One of the most popular features is Plant ID, which allows you to upload photos of unknown flora for a quick identification. The app also offers a number of how-to videos and step-by-step guides for a variety of garden projects, as well as a host of detailed information about plant origins, environmental preferences, propagation, personality, problems, geography and uses, in a practical and easy to understand way.
Don’t forget to share pics of you and your fellow yogis celebrating International Yoga Day in your green space! Tag us on Facebook and Instagram @candideappza