Yoga in itself is a practice intended to connect the body, mind and spirit. In the process of connection is this tuning into the present moment, becoming aware of the surroundings, or the body in this particular moment. The alignment of nature with yoga is very cohesive, for the same process is obtained.
Did you ever realize how much easier it is to meditate when you are on a beach, or in a forest?
How much more present do you feel out in nature?
Now Imagine you combined forces.
Imaging yoga… outdoors.
Double the benefits of everything you feel after a day at the beach, maybe with a bit less sand.. Or not.
Here are 8 reasons why you should try yoga outside, and maybe once you do try it you will see how natural it truly feels!
1. Nature restores energy
Just by being outside our bodies will naturally produce endorphins and lower cortisol levels, according to The Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine Journal. Meaning that we are happier and less stressed just getting outside. Our nervous system, evolved from a hunter-gatherer, receives bursts of energy restoring vigor and vitality allowing you to prepare for your vinyasa flow.
2. Natural scenery enhances awareness
You hear the birds chirp, you feel the wind and sun against your skin, and maybe smell the scent of ocean spray or fresh cut lawn. All your senses take in the space around you, and Nature is abundantly full of scents, sounds, and sights. These natural sounds and senses have the power to calm you down after a day full of artificial noise.
3. Connect to Earth
Imagine the feeling of walking barefoot in the sand or the dew soaked grass in between your toes. Doesn’t it instantly comfort you? It’s called earthing. By making direct contact with the earth you are connecting to the core of the planet. Imagine sending roots through your feet connecting down, setting a natural foundation. By unlocking your root chakra you can feel more stable through life’s changes, more balanced, secure and at peace. Something we all need in this constantly changing world.
4. Push boundaries
Balancing on an uneven surface or a moving surface, like sand, is much more difficult than on a studio floor. Elements, such as wind, rain or heat can add an intensity to your yoga practice, making your practice grow stronger. Allowing balance and movement in daily life to become stronger in the process.
5. No mirrors
This is a two-for-one benefit. First, it removes the temptation to compare your body and your practice to anyone else’s. Every single person is different and at a different stage. Yoga is not about those physical accomplishments. Yoga is about connecting with your body and accepting your body where you are at right now. Comparing yourself to someone else defeats that purpose.
Second, it improves your body’s proprioception, ability to sense where your body is in space. Without actually seeing your alignment you’re forced into really noticing how something feels and allowing your body to more naturally gravitate to what feels good. You are able to go deeper into your own body and deeper into the postures safely.
6. Vitamin D and fresh air
The all around benefits of being outside. Vitamin D helps fight against depression, disease, and helps with energy levels. Taking a deep breath of fresh air can help to remove toxins built up in your alveolar as well as increase lung capacity, and what better way to tap into lung potential than yoga pranayama practice.
7. Becoming one with nature
As you move through your yoga practice connecting your body and mind you will begin to feel at one with nature. Tuning into the sudden changes and the shifts of the world around you. Further centering you into this moment and opening up this deep gratitude for the beautiful place we live in and the abundance of life force on this earth.
8. Unlimited space
This is specifically important during these covid times that we are able to maintain our social distancing. Yet even before 6ft was ingrained in our minds, trying to squeeze your mat into a tiny space and having sweaty bodies around you or a deep breather right next to you can be a little distracting and to many unenjoyable. Though the day of seeing a packed studio may be far in the future, having wide open spaces is something to sign up for!
For whatever reason it might be: to connect to the earth or just escape a noisy house, take yoga where it is intended to be, outside.. Many things may be closed right now but Mother Nature is always open.
We invite you to grab your mat, some sunscreen and try a sun salutation under the sun!