The season for doing yoga outside is arguably almost over for the year, but really the sun doesn't necessarily have to be shining bright for you to enjoy your practice in nature!
If you have found that your regular practice is beginning to slow down, or that your enthusiasm for the mat is dwindling, then mixing things up by trying something new could be just what you need!
There are several things that you may consider to be a barrier to doing yoga in nature, and there are also some fantastic benefits that may not have crossed your mind!
Today I'm going to share my top tips for doing yoga outside in the hopes of encouraging you to get out and try it!
Pick A Good Spot
If you are going to do embrace outdoor yoga as part of a class then choosing the location will of course not be your responsibility. However, if you are going at it alone then you will have to pick a good spot.
It can be a good idea to opt for a more secluded space as opposed to a busy area, so that you can enjoy some privacy, as well as the peace and quiet.
You may feel as though you prefer the comfort and serenity of your home for your yoga practice, and that venturing outdoors leaves you feeling vulnerable and shy. If you choose a location that feels safe, but doesn't generally have too many passers-by, then you can limit the risk of this feeling.
If going out into public to do yoga seems like too much, too soon, then you can try easing yourself gently into the world of outside practice by using your own garden first.
Getting out into the world can push you to a whole new level of appreciating your body and your ability!
Dress For The Day
I don't know about you but the weather is one of those things that I feel you can never trust entirely! That's why I always make sure I'm prepared for all occasions when I get outdoors for a class or solo session.
Checking up on what the weather is likely to do throughout the day is a great idea before you do any kind of physical activity outside. If it looks like rain then reconsider your plans, and also, if it has rained recently then make sure you wear appropriate footwear so as not to slip – especially if you are practicing without a mat.
You might want to have a separate set of yoga clothing and perhaps a different mat for your outdoor yoga adventures, just in case of grass stains and mud!
Start With Group Yoga
If you are new to doing yoga outside then joining an already established group can be the easiest and most encouraging way to get started.
Choose a class in your local area and get along to check it out. This also gives you the opportunity to meet a new yoga teacher, and to expand your own yoga community. If there are several different classes to choose from, then why not go to each for a taster. You can then make your mind up about which one suits your needs and style best.
There are some very simple steps that you can take to ensure you stay safe when you are practicing yoga outside.
First and foremost, always look before you place your mat! Make sure that you have chosen a spot on even ground and that there is nothing between your mat and the ground, such as sticks and debris. Always test your footing first with some gentle poses to make sure you've picked a good spot.
When you are doing any physical activity outside you should always make sure you stay hydrated – and yoga is no exception. Take a bottle of water with you and make sure to take regular sips, especially on a hot day.
If you are practicing in warmer weather, then you might also want to take some bug spray with you!
It can be much easier to get distracted from your practice when you are doing yoga outside. If there is a lot going on around you then your eyes may drift from the mat as much as your mind may drift from the pose you are currently flowing through.
Bringing your attention back to the present moment in a mindful way can be done by reminding yourself of where you are and what you are doing. Encourage all distracting thoughts to leave your mind and give all of your attention to your practice.
As you continue to flow through each session in this way, you will find that you have a greater sense of presence and awareness of your own body. This can help you to push further into both the physical and mental aspects of doing yoga.
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