5 Essential Elements For Great Outdoor Yoga
Practicing yoga outside takes the healing benefits of yoga to a whole new level. The powerful combination of breathing fresh air, allowing the surrounding nature to calm your mind, and practicing for next to nothing is impossible to beat. Yoga is meant to open the mind, so practicing without walls will free your mind even more and allow you to gain more focus. Outdoor-lovers must try an outdoor session to slow down and truly appreciate the nature they love to play in.
See if your local studio offers free yoga classes in the park, or find a local community group with weekly yoga meet-ups in a variety of outdoor sanctuaries. If you can’t find a free outdoor yoga class, then print out some poses and create your own routine, or simply flow through your favorite poses and spend some time meditating. Whichever way you make it happen, the practice will greatly benefit you.
- Find a spot in the shade: As appealing as it may sound to stretch out in the summer sun, you don’t want to spend your practice sweating profusely and getting a sunburn. Yoga in the sun is not the same as hot yoga. Yoga in the sun will drain you in the first few minutes, and you won’t be able to focus on your session as well. Look for shady areas under the trees, under a pavilion, or even on your back patio.
- Don’t forget your mat: Another tempting idea is to go outside without a mat and sink your hands and feet into the grassy ground, but little insects crawling on your arms and legs will quickly change your mind. Unless you’re wearing long yoga pants, we advise bringing a mat and laying a towel down next to the top end of your mat so you can be bug-free during savasana.
- Ditch the iPod: Don’t worry about the sound of distant traffic or kids on the playground. See what calming sounds you can focus in on. For example, if you’re doing yoga on a dock, try to zone everything out except for the sound of water slapping the seawall or boats. This can be a very meditative activity if you see how well you can pick out particular sounds like the breeze through the trees or a far off wind chime.
- Find your point of balance: With moving branches, nearby runners, or cascading waterfalls, your balance will be challenged. You will be forced to focus on simply not being distracted. This can be a hard task with nature’s beauty all around you, but use this as a fun way to improve your yoga practice. Find something stationary, like a rock or tree trunk and really spend time zoning in on one spot.
- Treat yourself: Since you will already be relaxed in a cozy spot outside, make the most of it. Bring a book for afterward and a refreshing smoothie to sip on and enjoy. At this point you can pull out your iPod and close your eyes for a rejuvenating outdoor cat nap.