“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.”
Like most of the world, you’ve been asked to stay at home and self-quarantine. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of this time to connect a little deeper with mother nature and your personal yoga practice. Luckily, this time of year we begin to see a beautiful shift in the weather. The sun begins to shine, the trees turn green, who doesn’t want to get outside when the weather is nice? Now’s the time to make the outdoors your personal yoga space!
Being outdoors is inherently soothing. Today’s modern world is a demanding buzz full of technology, people, and stressful situations. As the world faces unforeseen challenges, making time for self-care has become even more crucial. Yet, sometimes we may feel that just practicing yoga in a room is not enough. When we move outside, we feel like we can truly unplug- and be the women we are meant to be.
There is a myriad of benefits to being outside. Soaking in the sun helps you absorb more feel-good Vitamin D, which can brighten your mood and enhance your immune system. The outdoors is one of the best all natural stress relievers out there!
Find an Open Outdoor Space
While respecting current restrictions on public places, try finding an open outdoor area to start your outdoor yoga practice. This will depend upon the regulations in your local community. If parks are available to you, you may want to find one with lots of grass and open space, or perhaps you would prefer one with trails.
If you’re looking for a peaceful environment with a beautiful view, you may want to choose your location carefully. If you practice in a city park, you may still not be able to fully escape the sounds of traffic and the like. In this case, you may want to bring a portable speaker with some music along. Or challenge yourself to not let those noises distract you.
In other cases, if you are in a more remote place, you will want to enjoy the sounds of nature- birds chirping, the breeze rustling through the trees, or water running through the river.
Don’t underestimate the power of practicing in the beauty of your backyard! This will help you to strengthen the connection you already have to your home. Perhaps you will earn a whole new appreciation for your humble abode.
Take It Easy on the Flow
Your first instinct may be to go all out, but remember that you will have different elements to deal with when practicing outdoors. Sun, bugs, uneven ground- it all comes with the territory. Better to start slow and steady and build your pace up comfortably.
With that in mind, you may want to be mindful of sun exposure. Be sure to layer on your favorite sunscreen and practice in the shade when necessary. Remember that sweat sometimes makes certain poses, such as arm balances and binds, more difficult, so you may want to bring a towel.
Practicing outdoors is a wonderful way to slow down and enjoy the scenery through your senses. You don’t have to rush through a vinyasa like we rush through everyday life. Take slow, deep holds of poses. Outdoors is also a great place to work on your balance, because it challenges your stability due to the uneven terrain.
To Mat or Not to Mat?
Whether you want to use a yoga mat or not is completely up to you. If you’re practicing in a park with flat ground and thin grass, a mat is fine. But if you’re hiking out in the wilderness, taking a heavy mat may not be an option and the ground may be so uneven that it isn’t worth it. In this case, a beach towel would work well, as it fits better on the ground.
Incorporate Yoga Into Your Favorite Outdoor Activity
We’ve already touched on practicing yoga while hiking, but what about other outdoor activities? You could practice meditation, breathing exercises, and simple yoga postures before participating in your favorite outdoor activity and see how it increases your mindfulness and physical ability while connecting you to the environment. Here are some ideas:
- Walking the dog
Gain Confidence in Your Yoga Practice
Join the Samanova Yoga Online 200-Hour Teacher Training hosted by myself and guest instructors to understand the ins & outs of all your favorite yoga poses & how to sequence them for your own practice- outdoors! Before you know it, you will be leading classes in the park and teaching your friends! Find out more info here.