Connecting with nature
Nature Seychelles Green Health Program will launch a green health challenge beginning on the first of August running through to the end of the month. The August Green Health Challenge will ask people to do certain things each day for thirty one days that will encourage them to use nature to be happier and healthier. The aim is for people to eventually adopt some of these activities into their daily lives.
"The August Challenge is about people being healthy and happy and realising that so much of our well-being and happiness comes from a healthy environment," says Robin Hanson, eco-health coordinator at Nature Seychelles Green Health Program. "It is also about getting people to realise that there are other ways that they can value nature."
Beginning on the 1st of August 2014, Nature Seychelles will each morning post the day's challenge on the Nature Seychelles Green Health program’s facebook page (www.facebook.com/NatureSeychellesGreenHealth). These daily motivations will include simple actions like enjoying an aspect of nature such as watching a sunset or star gazing, that we might otherwise take for granted as we get caught up in the daily grind of work and life.
Other challenges will require a little more exertion such as strolling, walking or doing some other form of exercise, say yoga, in or with a view of nature.
"I think this is something very interesting and new here in Seychelles and I would take part in it," says Lorea Rassool who runs Cabinet Asis, her own private midwife practice, which also specialises in prenatal yoga. Lorea’s practice is located at Aarti Chamber in Mont Fleuri.
Apart from helping in the pre and post delivery process and having her own personal yoga routine, Lorea is also a regular at the morning yoga sessions run by Robin held at The Sanctuary in Roche Caiman. “I have been part of Nature Seychelles’ green health yoga group for two years and enjoy doing yoga near nature because it is very quiet and soothing,” she says.
The August Challenge will also include challenges focusing on nutrition which will include recipes and other tips when necessary such as asking people to eat local foods, fruits and vegetables, make natural drinks and source for organic food.
“Eating local and organic food is the way forward to optimise health,” says Celia Ponzo, Health Promotion Officer for Nutrition at Seychelles Hospital. “I strongly promote local foods with patients because most of the foods we find in the shops are imported and often high in saturated fats, sugars and salts. Eating local food, especially local fruits and vegetables is healthier as they will have more vitamins and minerals,” she adds.
Like Lorea, Celia practices what she preaches. “Everything I tell my patients to do, I incorporate in my lifestyle too,” says Celia. “I think this helps in making yourself credible when you are teaching someone something as you set yourself as an example which they can feel inspired by.”
“When Robin shared the challenge with me I thought it was such a wonderful idea and also what I found so great is that I already do most of them in my daily life at some point on different days,” says Celia.
Nature Seychelles will be inviting as many people as possible to take part in the August Challenge and hoping they will send in their photos as they do some of the activities. The challenge will also hopefully generate comments such as Celia’s “Connecting yourself with nature is truly a blessing, you feel the power of nature and I feel that if you connect with it too, you too will feel powerful physically, mentally and emotionally.”
1) Robin taking a walk by the beach in Cousin Island; 2) A pumpkin growin in Geffroy's farm at Anse Royake, Seychelles; 3) Lorea at a recent yoga session at The Sanctuary (Nature Seychelles); 4) Lavelu picking java apples at Nature Seychelles' Heritage Garden 5) Meditation session at The Sanctuary