All across the country we’ve been experiencing the abnormal weather patterns. Here in Gainesville, we hit 90 degrees in early March and stayed there most of the month. Since April dawned, though, the humidity has dried up and we’ve been in the low 80s, high 70s. In some ways, it was the “winter” we never had! And while we desperately needed some rain to counteract the drought we’ve been experiencing, our classes have taken full advantage of the dry weather to deepen their understanding of Five Element theory through time in nature.

An important part of our curriculum is a course called Inner Development of the Practitioner, where the primary focus is on the individual practitioner. The course asks students to measure their own strengths and areas for growth, as well as finding ways to nourish that growth. The healer must have ways of healing the self before working to heal others. One of the ways that we help our students achieve these inner goals is to take them into nature, to observe, to reflect, and to link what they’re learning in the classroom to nature and their own selves. Here are some of the highlights from the last few months:

Class 27 took a day off from their busy clinic schedules to explore the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (a short drive from the Academy) and practice a little qigong.

Executive Director, Misti Oxford-Pickeral leads the early morning qigong.

Class 27 qigong in the Children’s Garden at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Meanwhile, Class 29B, here for their second intensive in March, headed onto the Rainbow River for a little time in nature.

Class members from Class 29B paddle down the Rainbow River

Isn’t the water just gorgeous? The Rainbow River is a beautiful place to contemplate the Wood and Water elements right now.

The Rainbow River on a sunny day in March, 2012. 

So, while our students have been meditating on the water and out in the garden, what have you been doing to nourish yourself? Have you been out and moving with the springtime energy? I wish you all a happy springtime.