Five benefits to taking your yoga practice outdoors
We can feel the change in the air as the soft comfort of summer approaches. The nights are getting lighter, days warmer and our smiles wider. It’s a time where we can connect with nature and find stillness in the air, and within ourselves.
One of the best things about yoga is the ability to take your mat anywhere.
So why not take your yoga practice outside?
The outside environment not only provides us with the connection to nature we are all innately seeking, but it also helps to strengthen our practice by adding an environment which we cannot control. Mother Earth.
Holding a posture in stillness while the world buzzes around us allows us to simultaneously connect deeply to our controlled practice, balance our sense of self and appreciate our beautiful planet.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali explain that perfection in our practice is achieved when we are unaffected by the dualities. That is our goal both on the mat, and off. Then we can become true yogis full of compassion and presence.
We’ve pulled together our top 5 reasons why we think you should take your practice outdoors:
1. The terrain pushes your boundaries.
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine so taking yoga outside can help get you out of that rut. Outdoor yoga challenges you with uneven ground and varying surfaces, helping you push your practice into new realms.
2. There’s no competition for floor space.
It’s happened to everyone; you get to a yoga class and it’s so packed you’re finger-to-finger during warrior pose. That’s a non-issue when you take your mat outside!
3. Grounding, Grounding, Grounding!
Having your bare feet on the ground creates a barrier free earth connection and a great way to relieve stress. Research has found that “grounding” yourself, or simply having direct contact with the earth-sand, rock, grass-can reduce the risk of heart problems, pain, and stress.
4. It’s a ready-made sanctuary!
It’s hard to create that peaceful space in your home. There are so many distractions, and its difficult to cultivate that feeling of escape we all get from visiting the studio. Fortunately, just stepping outside into the beautiful world we call home, can give us that feeling of peace we all need in our lives. So, head to the beach, the forest, or your local park to enjoy the beautiful vistas all around us.
5. You really learn what it means to “find stillness”
Practicing yoga outside means you lose the safe and familiar space of a studio and are vulnerable to what’s going on around you. “You’re at the whim of what nature brings you,” says Cole Schlam, an instructor based in Denver who leads yoga hikes in the mountains.
We’ve all been there, when that tiny ant is tickling your arm as you get into downward facing dog, or that fly is buzzing around your ear as you try to control your breath. These are but unexpected opportunities for us to control
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your mat and head outside!
If you need a little company or guidance, come join us at our beautiful new outdoor locations;
Yoga Lab Victoria