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5 Ways to Honor the Land and Native Wellness Practices

Author: Dr. Sarah Cavrak

Date: October 9, 2023

Today, we’re called to remember the indigenous people who lived in deep harmony and relationship with the land. Today we remember that their lives were violently taken from them by settler-colonial practices. Today we remember that the lives of their children and grandchildren continue to be negatively impacted by these horrific events. So, today (and everyday) we have an opportunity to honor them, to honor the land, and to take action in the direction of decolonizing our everyday habits. These will move us closer toward healing and justice and retribution.

Here are a few suggestions….

  • Acknowledge the Land You’re On: Take a deep dive into the internet today to discover the indigenous name of the land you currently call home. Hopefully, that exploration will also lead you down a rabbit hole of learning about who those peoples were, how they lived, and maybe something else that was important to them and their culture.

  • Resist with Your Voice and Your Vote: Take actions that protect and preserve the only land we (collectively) have. This includes knowing the types of policies and practices that are currently impacting the health and vitality of your slice of the world. Emailing, calling, and physically talking to your regional representatives about harmful practices is a simple action that serves to remind yourself that your voice has power. Never forget that many voices create a movement.

  • Support Indigenous Artists and Activists: Put your money where you heart is. Resist with your wallet. Support the descendants of the ancestors we are called to remember today. Amplify their voice, their stories and their art.

  • Embrace Reciprocity In Your Life: Capitalism force feeds us the message that relationships are transactional. Resist this by learning into the most natural rhythm the land can teach us: reciprocity. Reciprocity leads us back to harmony and balance, and it requires us to tune waaaaay in to the relationships we choose to be part of. If you’re unable to tune in, then that’s a great point of inquiry. If you are able to tune in, ask… am I in balance in this relationship? Is there a felt sense of harmony? If not, then ask yourself what steps you can take to get into harmony.

  • Disconnect To (Re)Connect: Put your face in the sunshine and your feet in the grass (or sand or dirt or water) and leave your electronics at home (or at the very least, in airplane mode, buried in your bag). Almost any amount of “digital detoxing” will remind you how much your nervous system is continually impacted by your electronic habits (checking your socials, checking your email, checking the news, checking checking checking…. ahhhhhh).

  • Put it all down for a day, a weekend, a week and you’ll remember to look into people’s eyes as you pass them (and the ping of connection when you do), to take your breath in slowly and mindfully as you sip your morning coffee, to use all of your senses as you drink in all the details on that nature trail you love so much.

[Source: Wijeyakumar, A. (2021). How I’m Using Yoga to Protect the Earth and Honor Indigenous Voices. Yoga Journal Online.]

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