Spring has sprung! As it begins to get warmer outside, it’s time to take advantage of the great outdoors. Grab your mat, choose some of your favorite poses and try an outdoor yoga practice today. It could be at a local park or even in your back yard. You don’t have to go far to reap all the benefits that yoga and nature have to offer! Here are some of them:
1. Be outside & enjoy the world around you. There is much to be said for getting back to nature. It is very healing to put your feet in the grass and look up at the infinite sky above you. To see the symbolism as you practice Tree while being surround by trees
and to contemplate how nature and animals around you have influenced the asanas you are practicing will make you see poses in a new light.
2. Practicing outdoors will take your practice to the next level. It is very challenging! Your balance will be tested as you stand on uneven ground and you must learn to set your focus without having a mirror in front of you. You may feel the wind testing your stability or surprising sounds around you forcing you to stay focused on the present moment and the pose at hand. Which leads me to the next one:
3. Improve your focus and mindfulness. All of these little things that you encounter outdoors will get you out of the same routine of your indoor or group class practice. Every time you encounter something new and different it brings you back to the present moment and gives you the opportunity to question what it is you are feeling. This allows you to live completely in the now, where you can devote yourself to everything that is happening in your body and in the immediate world around you. This is the place where peace lives…far from your “to-do” lists.
4. Take advantage of free Vitamin D. Get your dose the natural way! Sunshine will give you a natural boost helping to fight off those winter blues you may have been experiencing. (Be sure after 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure, you add your sunscreen or cover up!)
5. Outside is great place to help you meditate and cultivate gratitude. After your asana practice, you are all warmed up and ready to sit in meditation. Continuing to allow your mind to quiet, this is the perfect place to remind us that we have everything we need. The fresh oxygen we are breathing into lungs, the sun for warmth, the flowers, fruit and vegetables we eat to live. And even more so, how everything works together so perfectly, (the circle of life), the trees taking in the carbon dioxide that we exhale, the sun that creates photosynthesis in the plants and trees and make them grown, the scraps of food we don’t eat that decay and nourish the soil to make it good for growing. All these things you can contemplate and I hope it brings you much peace.