By Eva Davidova of CaliforniaPix.net.
Try taking your Yoga practice outdoors. Ever since I started doing Yoga I dreaded going to classes that were in small, claustrophobic, air-conditioned rooms where the only view you had was at the ceiling or the wall. Yoga instructors do their best to create an ambiance of soft lights and relaxing music, but trying to strike such a mood evokes an attempt of mimicking a natural setting, being the great outdoors. “Yogis originally did Yoga outside in beautiful places.” Not only is spending time in nature more free and incredibly revitalizing, but it brings you closer to the entire purpose of Yoga which is achieving unity. Taking this practice outdoors forces you to be inspired by nature by focusing awareness, breathing deeply and practicing stillness.
Pick a Perfect Spot
It’s always good to adventure and find new places to practice Yoga. Your location will affect the mood of your practice so choose a place where you’re comfortable and feel free. Try picking a peaceful and quiet spot that will help you escape your hectic day. Try looking for a place that suits you. Maybe you have a tree that you love or a sun patch that you feel comfortable in. Sometimes seeking some shade is better. Stretching in a sunny area is energizing, but sometimes it’s too much sweating and could become unpleasant really fast. Trying to look for a place with full or partial shade could work more effectively.
Swap your mat for a towel or blanket
There is nothing better than doing Yoga in the sand, using whatever nature makes available for us. Your feel can easily sink in and you can get even deeper into your stretches. Foot-to-earth contact is amazing and helps you enjoy the laid-back vibes of a mat free practice. But if you happen to come across concrete or rocks when outdoors bring your mat to make it more comfortable!
Make friends with the wind
You can take the extra resistance of wind to your advantage! Trying to work with the wind and accepting the challenge will soon make the wind your friend and not the enemy. This extra resistance and balance training will only make you a better yogi. It’s hard to steady yourself when you’re surrounded by constant motion, but concentration is the key. Rooting all your attention into the earth and keeping steady, together with you’re controlled breath will help you rise high.
Observe the natural world
Embrace the fact that you’re outside, surrounded by beautiful scenery and fresh air. The smell of the air, the feel of the wind, the sound of the birds or waves, the shadows and your ever-changing feelings make this practice so much more exciting. The feelings of happiness, pride, strength, exhaustion and vulnerability arise and react with the nature around you. Embrace it!
Bring a good book and water
Pack a Yoga bag that includes the perfect things to make you’re adventure in nature even better! Pack some sunscreen, plenty of water and don’t forget a good book. Tip: Adding some fresh cut-up lemons or oranges into your water makes it more refreshing! After your practice you can always linger and enjoy the relaxed environment by reading. Try to get rid of that habit of “packing up and going.” Try to indulge yourself in that peaceful, breezy environment.
Power up Yoga with other outdoor activities
There is nothing better than running outdoors, hiking and hammocking. Try to incorporate yoga into other activities by trying a few poses to stretch before jogging or hiking. You don’t always need much time to achieve Yoga’s relaxing benefits. A short Yogic breathing or meditation session during your hectic day relieves you with stress and helps your body calm down.
– Eva Davidova