There are many reasons to practice yoga outside, including the health benefits of being out in natural daylight. However, a switch in routine can bring a renewed enjoyment and appreciation for the art itself.
There are a few things to be considered before confidently practising some fresh flow al fresco. These are important for solo adventurers, and group teachers, wishing to switch up their classes alike.
Pick the Perfect Spot
It would be ideal to find an area that allows enough space for movement. Being out amongst the sounds of nature can create an ideal environment for practising yoga. However, not all outside spaces are created equal. There may be instances where clean, outdoor spaces are not easily accessed, but this doesn’t mean it is impossible to make a space suited to yoga, even with minimal square footage. An outdoor yoga space can be made on the balcony of even the smallest apartment buildings. You can quickly create this environment by using artificial grass for a realistic natural feeling space, instantly. Add some wind chimes with mirrors to catch the changing light of day, creating an idyllic setting for morning, afternoon, or evening flow.
Protect Your Skin
Skin is the largest organ of the human body, and the benefits of vitamin D exposure are countless, including; fighting disease, helping to boost weight loss, and reducing depression. Just 5-10 minutes per day soaking up the sun, can help to reap these benefits. A yoga class can last for up to an hour, which will cause damage to the skin if not adequately protected. A High SPF lotion, labelled ‘broad spectrum’ will provide barriers to UV rays. It is best to practise outside when these rays are at their least harsh — typically before 10 am, or after 4 pm in the afternoon.
The human body is 60 per cent water. It is therefore imperative that water is a key part of the diet in order to maintain the body’s ultimate performance levels. Yoga is an excellent way of staying fit and healthy, but even losing 2 per cent of your body’s hydration can affect performance negatively. Make sure to take sips of water throughout the session.
Being in a fresh and new environment can enhance the meditation experience in a truly wonderful and enriching way, often bringing a stronger sense of peace and groundedness. It is also said that being outside heightens the senses, which can greatly improve the experience. Spending longer in a meditative state after exercise has many benefits, and the natural sounds of waves and birdsong make for the perfect soundscape to ease the mind.
However, small bugs and creepy crawlies can bring distraction from a deep meditation. So why not try some walking meditation instead?
There are many benefits to taking to the great outdoors for yoga practice, as yoga and nature match so well. A bit of homework and preparation can ensure that the overall experience is safe, comfortable and relaxing