Making Your Outdoor Yoga Session Fruitful
“Nature connects us to our roots,” said Dr. Matthew Baral, a leader at Sedona Yoga Festival. When practicing yoga in a studio, teachers do their best to establish an ambiance of soft lights, soothing sounds, and an aromatic atmosphere. Often, this is usually an attempt to evoke a natural setting and environment - the great outdoors. Why settle for an imitation of outdoor surrounding when you can get out and experience its real form? Outdoor practice adds a distinctive dimension to your routine and strips yoga down to its pristine link with nature.”Yoga means union, and when practiced outdoors, it lets you feel the union between nature, humanity and the universe,” said Hillary Kimblin, a Vedic Hatha yoga teacher in Beverly Hills, California.
Embracing the experience
There is an array of places you can choose to practice. For instance, you may settle for the slopes of a hill or a mountain, allowing you to incorporate rock-climbing which will also keep you grounded to nature. Despite your choice of location, practicing outside can intensify your yoga experience in many ways. This is because nature ordains and inspires prime routines such as focusing awareness, breathing deeply, and practicing stillness. First, though, you need to think more regarding embracing rather than indulging in these elements as it can help in making the experience more fruitful. Among other benefits, embracing helps to remind that a breeze could deepen your breathing, the warm sun could make your muscles more docile, and a small insect could let you focus on something still and small, aiding meditation. Many aspects of yoga are, in fact, about being in the moment and marrying with nature, which is why many asanas reflect animals and nature. “By putting your body into a shape of a tree or a stretching cat, or breathing with the pace of tides creates a sense of harmony, timelessness, and connection to the universe,” said Jane Jarecki, a Kripalu yoga teacher in Vermont.
Do you need a mat?
Uneven landscapes on sand, grass or forest floors can intensify particular yoga postures, hence increasing their benefits. “Practicing on uneven surfaces builds the secondary muscles of a yogi’s feet, knees, hips, spine, and shoulders,” noted Marts Foster, a Vinyasa yoga teacher in San Jose. “If you feel distracted by the rough ground, take it as an opportunity to find patience, peace, and center,” added Jarecki. On the other hand, Kimblin who leads full-moon yoga recommends using 2 thick mats when practicing outdoor routines. She added that such mats make the tiny stones and uneven terrains tolerable. Therefore, based on these 2 arguments, whether you use a yoga mat or not should depend on the location, routines in the subject, and personal preference.
Despite your level of skill, practicing yoga outdoors is an incredible experience, and you should try it. Some of the places you can start with include your backyard, the beach, community parks, national parks, and lakes. In Arizona, Phoenix city is a significant home of outdoor yoga with many sessions and events such as poolside yoga parties, goat yoga among others. All in all, pairing up yoga and nature is an incredible experience that expands everyone, and has an immediate freedom that you can not fully clone indoors.
By Cassandra Steele