8 Jan

The Beach as a Spiritual Place

spiritual beachMany people feel spiritually connected at the beach. The beach is something of a magical place for many, getting people in touch with nature on a level they can seldom find elsewhere. There are a number of reasons that they beach gets people into a spiritual frame of mind. The beach offers us beautiful natural scenery, a sacred place where the land we dwell on meets the water we cannot inhabit, and a perspective on our place in the world that helps us understand eternity. It is no wonder that we go to the edge of the ocean to search our souls and clear our minds.

The scenery at the beach is naturally beautiful. Everything in front of us is immense at the beach. The sky is expansive and stretches before us over head. The water seemingly goes no forever. The sky and the water meet on the horizon which is an infinite amount of space away from us. The waves crash, the salty wind blows and the gulls cry out. Anyone who has been to the beach knows these familiar sights and sounds and feels something move in their spirit when they associate them with the beach.

There is something spiritual about standing on the edge of a continent and gazing out over the ocean. It is a place where two major elements meet and separate from one another, and the energy is vibrant. This coming together of land and water in such a dramatic way give us a sense of our size as compared to the world. This is humbling and puts many things into perspective for people, who are conscience, observant beings.

The horizon, that is so many miles from where we stand at the beach may as well be an infinite amount of space away from us. It disappears to the human eye around the curvature of the world. We humans have very little sense for eternity, but beholding the end of land and the beginning of ocean represents eternity to us in a way that we can vaguely comprehend.

8 Jan

Sand, Waves and Wind

beach sceneryThe natural elements at the beach are what make it a memorable place. People return again and again to the beach for solace and peace of mind. There is something about the beach that captures our imaginations and stills our thoughts. There is no other place that bring together the same magical combination of natural elements.

The ocean itself is of particular fascination to people who love the beach. Only at the beach can one stand on the edge of a continent and look out onto an infinite body of water and contemplate it. The ocean captivates us with its vast mysteriousness and being close to it serves as a reminder to us of how small we are.

The air at the beach is very memorable to everyone who has experienced it. It is thick with salt and moisture coming off the water, being carried by the ever present wind. The smell of the ocean is unlike anything else. Not everyone likes it because it is a very organic, earthy smell. Some even describe it as sour because of the moist vegetation and wildlife that it comes with. However, many love nothing more than a salty ocean breeze hitting their face.

The land that makes up the beach is also a very memorable part of it. The landscape is often hilly and sloping, leading down to the water. The slope gives way to sand – the part of the earth that has been tilled by salt water for millenniums. The sand of the beach is a favorite spot for people to perch on. People bring chairs, towels, blankets, umbrellas, picnics and books to the beach for days of enjoyment.

Apart from these elements, there are other features of the beach that people recall when they think on what they love about the beach. The wildlife is one of them. Gulls, fish and even oceanic mammals can be observed in their element at the beach. The vegetation is another. Plants grow in the hills near the beach that do not grow anywhere else and are very recognizable. Even the civilization on the beach – the cottages, shops, lighthouses and restaurants – are one of a kind.

8 Jan

Exercise at the Beach

beach exerciseThere are many exercises one can do at the beach. The beach makes for an ideal space to work out in. There is plenty of room to move around, the temperature is usually agreeable and the scenery is therapeutic. Even the sand offers resistance to feet that tread on it, enhancing exercise. The variety of exercises one can do on the beach are vast. One can engage in high energy workouts like jogging or speed walking, one can exercise in place or one can do gentle exercises like yoga and stretching on the beach.

Jogging or speed walking on the beach is invaluable exercise. It can serve as a commute for some people who can get to where they need to go by way of a beach, or it can double as a therapeutic nature walk with exercise benefits. Moving up and down a beach is an excellent workout for the body’s muscles and cardiovascular system. There is an incredible amount of space to traverse along a beach which ensures a long, healthy work out. The sand’s give makes travel by foot more challenging, which allows for a more intense work out.

If traveling by foot does not interest a person for a workout, they can do a variety of exercises in place on the beach, such as calisthenics and aerobics. The sand’s give still makes for an excellent surface to work out on to tone muscles and strengthen a person at their core. One can do variations of push ups, sit ups, lunges, planks and jogging in place on the beach in order to stay healthy.

And lastly, if intense workouts are not a person’s style, they should engage in yoga and stretching on the beach. One could not hope for a better environment for stretching and yoga than the beach. The environment is peaceful and serene to help a person relax and calm their mind. With their concentration sharp, they can hold a variety of poses that stretch their muscles and refresh their bodies, giving them additional energy and clarity.

21 Jan

Mental Healing at the Beach

beach mental healingThe beach is a favorite place for centering one’s self. Many people the world over find that the solitude of the beach is just the thing they need to get their head on straight. Indeed, all of nature has this calming, reflective effect on people, but there is something about the beach, with its endless horizon and wide open sky that makes us think of it as the world’s peaceful center. You can use the beach to gain mental clarity by praying, meditating, reflecting and relaxing.

  • Prayer. Praying on the beach is an old tradition. Many people associate the beach and the ocean with spirituality, and time at the beach is a religious experience for them. People who pray take advantage of the serenity and awe of the beach to address their higher power and clean out their spiritual closets.
  • Meditation. It is not uncommon to see people on the beach sitting in silence with their eyes closed. Usually, these people are engaged in meditation: the ancient practice of clearing one’s mind in order to be truly in the moment. The beach is the perfect place for meditation. It has all the elements of a profound meditation experience, including silence, a tantalizing sensory experience and interaction with the elements.
  • Reflection. Reflecting upon one’s life is a cognitive-behavioral way of thinking. It calls for critical analysis, self awareness and objectivity. It can be very difficult to reflect on anything in our busy civilized world, but at the beach, we have abundant space and energy to devote to critical thinking about our own lives. It is impossible to make personal progress without some level of reflection, which is why escaping to somewhere like the beach is so critical to our mental health.
  • Relaxation. Do not underestimate the importance of relaxation in our daily lives. Taking time to relax is not only pleasant and desirable as an activity, but it is also vital to our mental health. Going to some place like the beach simply to relax and nothing else is time well spent.

21 Jan

Physical Healing at the Beach

beach athleticismThe physical benefits of spending time at the beach are numerous. A wide open beach that stretches for miles naturally inspires exercise. There is so much space to move around in and explore that the body naturally becomes invigorated. The sensory experience of sights, smells and sounds at the beach also generate energy and make a person want to move around freely. In addition, the give of the sand under a person’s weight aids the exertion of exercise and the skill of balancing. Several ways you can engage in physical activity at the beach are:

  • Walking. Simply walking the length of the beach makes for excellent physical exercise. Doctors recommend that every person get some substantial amount of walking in every day. The beach provides an excellent opportunity to do exactly that. Because the beach is an incredibly scenic place, it is not a chore to walk the length of it. It is a pleasurable experience, as well as an adventure.
  • Stretching. Doing stretches or practicing an established form of stretching like yoga is very well suited for the beach. There are even yoga mats made specifically for use at the beach. The sandy surface is firm and flexible at the same time, creating an excellent surface for bracing one’s self in a stretch position.
  • Balance practice. The sand of the beach is an excellent surface for practicing good balance. Our weight pushes our feet into the sand to a certain degree which gives them a small brace for balancing that would not otherwise be there. The sand is firm enough for us to hold a pose in, yet soft enough that it is not painful to fall over onto.
  • Exertion. If it is a heartier workout you crave, the beach has no limits for the cardiovascular or toning exercises you can engage in. The beach makes an excellent space for running, jogging, dancing, aerobics, calisthenics or any other form of exerting exercise.

21 Jan

Using the Beach to Improve Your Health

beach healingThroughout history, mankind has had an affinity for the sea and for the beach. There is something about standing on the edge of the continent and looking out into an unknown world of water that captures our imagination and leaves us in awe. For centuries, people have been going to the beach for restoration, invigoration and inspiration. As it turns out, time at the beach actually does have health benefits, both physically and mentally, for people. Physically, a person can exercise, stretch and increase their balance abilities at the beach. Mentally, a person can declutter their mind, reflect and meditate at the beach.

It is not uncommon to go to the beach and see people jogging, stretching, doing yoga or calisthenics, dancing or performing any number of other physical activities. The beach naturally inspires athletic activity through its wide open spaces and majestic scenery. The salty air, humidity and chill creates an invigorating sensory experience that one cannot find anywhere else. Performing athletic activities on the beach is a great idea because there is plenty of room to move around. This is why many leaders of yoga, tai chi and aerobics groups choose to hold their classes on the beach. The sand also has benefits to health because it has give to it, which increases a person’s level of exertion when they exercise on it.

The mental health benefits of the beach are obvious. The beach is a serene, peaceful place where one can come for sanctuary from the busy world of people. The sound of the waves crashing, the feeling of the wind carrying the ocean spray into our skin and the smell of salt water at the beach is soothing and invigorating. A person is able to empty their mind of their troubles and either reflect on their life broadly or simply keep their mind’s open for meditation. Either is enormously beneficial to a person’s mental health and is truly dependent on the separation from the noise of the world, like that found at the beach.

8 Aug

How the Beach Can be Therapeutic

healing beachThe beach has long been thought of as a place of solace. There is something about the open sky, the salty air, the sounds of gulls, the waves crashing and the sand underfoot that is soothing to the soul. People have been captivated by the sea and the beach since the dawn of mankind. Time at the beach has statistically been proven to lower blood pressure, ease mental disorders and hardships and have healing effects on the body. There are a number of ailments, both mental and physical, that time at the beach can heal.

Physical exercise, stretching and yoga on the beach have been found to be highly beneficial for a number of reasons. Sand obviously does not support the body in the same way as pavement, asphalt or more firm earth. It has a give to it that allows exercise with slightly more resistance where the body makes contact with it, which is usually the feet. This resistance is excellent for building leg strength, and for enhancing cardio. Many people have said that as they do physical activity, light or hard, on the beach, the give of the sand beneath them gives them a feeling of fluidity with the earth that they cannot get in other environments.

Meditation and prayer on the beach are some other beneficial methods of healing. The exercises of meditating and praying have long been known to help with afflictions of the mind, heart and soul. Negative thoughts and emotions always come with rampant negative thinking, which meditation aims to quiet. Meditation and relaxation is the emptying of the mind in order to receive the world around us and its positive energies. Prayer goes a step beyond meditation and allows a person to communicate with whatever higher power they believe in. People of faith regularly practice prayer and feel enormously fulfilled by it. Practicing these inner peace tactics on the beach can be very spiritually therapeutic, as the beach naturally holds spiritual connotations.

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