Practicing yoga outdoors offers many new opportunities to revitalize your yoga practice and connect to nature. Time spent outside automatically triggers sensations of joy, relaxation and general mindfulness. Surrounding ourselves in nature can help to invigorate and inspire us, bringing new insights to all elements of our life and our yoga practice.
I have been practicing yoga outside for over 15 years. Each season offers its own unique qualities. The summer months filled with fragrant scents and nature in bloom can be absolutely beautiful, inspiring a sense of awe throughout the practice. This aspect alone is a reason to step outside and embrace an outdoor practice. Studies show the visual elements found in nature that inspire us also promote kindness, happiness and a sense of connection, allowing our minds an opportunity to rest from the daily stressors of life.
The warmer summer weather beacons us outdoors. Nature soothes and is a powerful stress reliever. Fresh air will kick your brain into high gear leaving you refreshed and alert and sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, the feel-good chemical in your body that is responsible for maintaining mood balance.
When you take your practice outside be mindful it may have some challenges, temps can fluctuate, uneven surfaces can offer some physical challenges as you practice outside, but it offers a perfect metaphor for life. Reminding us to stay flexible, calm and centered despite the challenges.
Ready to take your practice outdoors? Since we are dealing with the elements, here are some simple tips to keep cool during warm weather summer practices.
Stay hydrated, make sure to bring a bottle of water and keep yourself hydrated.
Dress for the weather. Wear comfortable clothing that breathes.
You may want to bring a yoga blanket or a towel. When practicing on hard or uneven surfaces the blanket/towel offers a nice cushion and can be placed under your mat for additional padding or you can ditch the mat all together and “get grounded” practice directly on the surfaces nature provides.
Lastly, let the idea of perfection go when practicing outside and become more connected to your body. Celebrate movement and embrace a mindful connection in nature with an outdoor yoga practice.