camping and glamping benefits|yogi surprise

Camping Versus Glamping: The Beauty Each Experience Offers

Camping is its own universe

There are definitely some mighty strong opinions about the best tents, lanterns, cooking stoves, portable coffee makers, sleeping bags, insect repellants, sunscreens, and lanterns. Hard-core campers who've spent years acquiring the perfect accouterments love to exchange advice and tried and true methods for setting up the perfect campfire. Cautionary tales abound regarding bears, forgotten tarps that would have come in super handy during the downpour, and what happens when a fire isn't properly extinguished.

Those dedicated to the craft of camping love every aspect and consider setting up their tents and organizing the site to be a giant part of the entire experience of sleeping outdoors and communing with nature. "It's a form of meditation. And I love knowing I can be so self-sufficient and provide myself with everything I need with no one's help," said Danielle, a true camping-lover I spoke with recently who has started taking solo camping trips. "I really challenge myself and love being alone in the woods."

As much as I admire Danielle and others who feel the way she does about the roughing it experience, I can't say I feel the same. Now, showing up at a campsite where everything is already set up and all I have to pack is clothing and a toothbrush sounds beyond dreamy. And because so many of us don't quite relish taking on carrying the abundance of gear and doing a whole lotta hard work, Glamping was born. And it's glorious.

Let's Glamp


Photo Credit: The Resort at Paws Up

Glamping can be interpreted either as glamorous camping or a luxurious outdoor sleeping experience. Everything is provided for you, and both the accommodations and provisions are top notch. Most glamping destinations have staff there to serve your meals and do all of the garbage disposal. It's like staying in a 4-star hotel but you get to sleep outside under the canopy of trees or stars.

Some people can vacillate between the two experiences. And others land firmly in one 'camp' or the other. Personally, I enjoy both, but if given the choice, I'll glamp every single time. There are many incredible companies now offering a variety of glamping destinations. You can go anywhere to enjoy this. Outside of the U.S., Asia, Africa, Central America, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, and the Carribean, they all offer this exceptional and fabulous experience. Glamping is an event. Do you want to sleep outside in luxury with Zion National Park as your view? You can absolutely do this. Would you rather enjoy sleeping next to one of Colorado's nurturing and transformative hot springs? Done. Is sleeping in a treehouse being lulled to slumber by the gentle breeze and slight swaying of your temporary digs super appealing to you? Go do it!

As with everything, there are benefits and deficits to each experience

There are so many incredible things to feel and learn by camping and if you've never been, consider trying it. Here's why:

  • You will build confidence. Oh yes, if you can pull off this experience, have a blast, sleep soundly and comfortably, challenge and build your skillsets, and protect yourself from the elements, you absolutely will receive a surge of self-knowledge and big-time ego boost that you did this and did it well.
  • You will learn a lot. Not only will you learn about yourself by communing with nature, but figuring out how to set up camp and provide all that is necessary reminds you that you're both a survivor and a thriver. It feels wonderful to know you are capable enough to safely and enjoyably create this experience for yourself and others.
  • There's a whole community of campers you'll now be a part of. Camping is a way of life for so many. It's their vacation from the stressors of life and bustle of home and work. And it's a unique and phenomenal way to see the world and connect with others who love it as much as you do.

Glamping has a hell of a lot to offer too. Clearly, there is the overlapping experience of sleeping outdoors and being in nature. But the benefits here are a bit different:

  • You don't have to work. You get to be nurtured and taken care of in the lap of luxury.
  • You don't have to purchase all of the stuff necessary to make a camping experience comfortable. Everything is provided. You just show up and enjoy
  • There's no dealing with forgetting something pertinent and necessary. They've thought of everything. You won't have that distraction to contend with and can simply have a blast being outside in beauty with fresh air and the great outdoors.

Both camping and glamping offer so much. But they both have challenges to be considered as well in making your choice the next time you want to sleep outside.

  • Building your camping gear takes time and lots of money. Glamping is also expensive. If you want a relatively bare-bones glamping situation, you could pay as little as $79.00 per night. But it can go as high as $2,000.00 a night, and that's not including airfare if that's a consideration.
  • As satisfying as all of the hard work is that goes into camping, it's still a lot of work, contending with the elements, and poses the potential to be less than enjoyable. Glamping will protect you from the elements a little more effectively since the structure is more forgiving, but it doesn't eliminate the threat and effects that harsh weather can bring.
  • Unexpected variables will always come up. Whether you're camping or glamping, you'll still have to deal with the x-factors that nature promises. This can be a benefit too in helping you become more resourceful, but still, it's something to consider.

Overwhelmingly, the pros outweigh the cons of both camping and glamping. Get going planning your trip, whichever experience you choose.

Why You Really Do Need to Go Hug All of The Trees

I knew the second I spotted her that she was the one

There she was, just as majestic and impossibly beautiful as a living creature has the capacity to be. She beckoned without paying me any attention at all. With zero chill, I raced in her direction and hurled my body fully against her's. We became one, me and that Quaking Aspen, and the feeling of our full embrace will never quite leave me. Or leaf me. And speaking of leaves, I took one from the ground as a memento of our brief but impactful time together.

There's quite a lot of evidence that tree hugging has many benefits

Not only are you fully aware that you feel better after getting in that snuggle, but you may not notice some of the more subtle yet highly impactful benefits tree hugging has to offer.

In his spellbinding book, Blinded by ScienceMatt Silverstone explores the health benefits of hugging trees and the vibrational healing powers that this simple act has to offer. Trees offer specific vibrations that trigger positive responses in our biological behaviors when we commune with them and tap into their restorative powers.

If all it takes is just one tree hug per day to make us healthier and happier, um, why wouldn't we make this a priority?

Aletheia Luna details how the freshest air we can breath is right underneath a tree. Some of the more important health benefits include:

  • lower blood pressure
  • enhanced digestion
  • happier mood
  • more developed breath patterns
  • balance in our nervous systems

Do you really need more reasons to go find a gorgeous ever-inviting tree to hug?

Incorporating tree hugging into travel is a remarkable way to build in memories about your experiences with the great outdoors and the variety of landscapes, foliage, and unique properties the staggering number of tree variations can offer. Turning tree hugging into an integral component of the way we travel will make us more susceptible and receptive to the cultural attributes and needs that exist all over the globe.

Each tree has it's own interesting stories, experiences, and wisdom to offer. Set up your practice in front of the most enticing tree you can find. Offer homage to the tree by thanking it for providing inspiration, shelter, nourishment, and serving as a gigantic reminder of how crucial it is to ground and set roots even if you're traveling. We root by being fully present and grateful for our unique surroundings.

There is a long history of peacefully advocating for trees by hugging them in protest of tearing them from the ground. That advocacy goes both ways and the trees will continue to serve and teach us no matter where we go, what we do, or who we continue to evolve into being.

Tree hugging separates us from those who offer love and support from those who take without thought of consequences. I want to be in the former category and I want it to be a hallmark of my character.

Start in your own backyard. If you don't have a tree right there, go find the closest one to where you dwell. Pay respect on the daily and take that sense of acknowledging nature and all of its glorious offerings with you no matter where you are. It will feed your soul, improve your health, and most importantly, the trees deserve it.

4 Ways to Heal Your Crown Chakra by Spending Time in Nature

4 Ways to Heal Your Crown Chakra by Spending Time in Nature

The crown chakra is your gateway to the spiritual realm and your state of oneness with the Universe.

Letting go of your ego is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a balanced and open crown chakra, and what better way to do that than by spending more time in nature?

Nature grounds us when we've become a little too lost in our egos—and this is exactly what we need to be able to move beyond low-consciousness thought and into a higher state of love and purpose.

Here are are five ways to put yourself deeper in touch with nature so that you can regain your footing on the path you need to take toward greater spiritual growth.


1. Trade sitting meditation for a meditative walk through a green or wooded area.

Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sit still. Taking your meditation outdoors—even in the winter—is a wonderful way to combine the benefits of physical activity with the therapeutic effects of nature.

As you walk down your chosen path, trail, or sidewalk, focus on your senses like your feet hitting the ground with each step, the coolness of your breath as you breathe in the dry and cold air, the sounds you hear around you, and the sights that you see. Here’s a more detailed step-by-step process on how to do a walking meditation.


2. Find ways to immerse yourself in sunlight.

Thought and light are the two main elements associated with the crown chakra, so getting outside when the sun is shining at its brightest—such as around noon or on clear days—is definitely ideal. Bonus points if you do your walking meditation on a sunny day!

If getting outside isn’t an option because the weather is too cold, you could stay warm inside and try gazing out from a window while letting the sunlight reach your skin.


3. Appreciate the little things that Mother Nature does.

As you walk outside or gaze outside your window, ask yourself, what do I genuinely love about the work of Mother Nature? You might appreciate the way that the snow falls, the way the frost paints unique designs on your windows, or the incredible polar opposites of the seasons—such as the frozen stillness of winter versus the lively activity of summer.

Loving nature exactly how it is can help you connect to deeper parts of yourself, opening the doors to greater self-knowledge and understanding that you are so much more than what you think you might be on the surface.


4. Nurture the plant and animal life around you.

Let your appreciation for nature inspire great actions of love. Whether you choose to hang a bird feeder in your yard, tend to your indoor or outdoor plants, or start preparing a small herb garden for spring, the love you show the environment and wildlife around you will come back to you.

Above all, make sure to perform these actions out of unconditional love rather than by obligation or expectation that it will benefit you in some way. It’s those selfless acts of pure love that will lead you to balance and open your crown chakra—not the beliefs or rules you’ve been taught to follow just so you can get something out of it.