Yoga means “union” – and bringing your practice outside can help you really feel like you’re achieving that union with nature and the universe. It’s not a coincidence that so many poses take their names from things we find in nature: Tree; Cat; Sun Salutations; and more.
Practicing outside when you can also help move your practice to a deeper level. The breeze and the smell of the grass can help you take deeper breaths. The warm sun on your muscles can help you take a stretch deeper or hold it longer. And that one yellow leaf on a tree, or a blue egg in a robin’s nest might give you a focal point for concentrating and listening to your body and the world around you as you move through your practice.
Sometimes, just bringing your practice somewhere new reinvigorates your experience. If we are doing the same thing, in the same place, over time, we may feel like we’re on “auto-pilot. Just changing your surroundings can help you practice with more intention and focus.
Here are some tips for bringing your practice outside:
- Pick your perfect spot
Find a spot that suits you. If you have a favorite tree, you may want to practice in its shade. If you love the water, finding a spot with a babbling brook, or on the beach may really speak to you.
- Consider ditching your mat
Feeling the grass beneath your feet can help you connect with nature and really FEEL the earth as you move through your practice. If you don’t like the feel of grass on your feet, consider a thin blanket or towel so you’re still able to draw energy from the ground.
- Identify nature’s smells and breathe them in
Smelling the grass, flowers or trees around you can help you breathe deeper, and with more intention.
- Take time to observe
Make sure you have quiet time at the beginning and end of your practice to listen to the sounds, and really look at your surroundings. Making an effort to connect with the natural world will enhance your practice in invaluable ways.
- Grab a friend
Or try one of our classes – we try to take things outdoors when we can!