It’s Summer Solstice, which means it’s officially summer – yay! And what could possibly scream summertime more than practising yoga outside? OK, so not everyone has a big leafy garden at their fingertips (particularly us city folk) but that should never stop you from venturing into the great outdoors with your mat. A rooftop, terrace, balcony, or even your local park all make great options for getting your zen on.
It’s time to green up your yoga practice – and here’s why:
1. Get grounded
There’s nothing quite like anchoring yourself in nature to help ground yourself in the present moment. Many of the most grounding postures in yoga have their basis in nature – think of Tree Pose or Mountain Pose. We spend most of our daily lives in our heads which can leave us feeling scattered and ungrounded. Practising yoga outdoors allows us to draw our focus downwards into the Earth to re-centre ourselves.
2. Get to the heart of Prana
Prana is the Sanskrit word for “Vital Life Force” and this concept lies at the very heart of yoga philosophy. Prana is essentially the foundation and essence of all life, and what keeps us alive and healthy. When we practice yoga outdoors we’re throwing ourselves amidst the energy of all living things, helping us balance the flow of Prana in our own body.
3. Practising outside can motivate us
Practising yoga at home or at the studio is comfortable and safe – and sometimes that’s exactly what we need. On the other hand, practising yoga outside can help energise and awaken us. Aside from providing a beautiful backdrop, a recent study showed that people exercising outdoors exercised more frequently and a for a longer time period than those exercising indoors.
4. A natural mood booster
Top up those all-important Vitamin D levels whilst giving yourself an extra mood boost… Science tells us just 5 minutes spent outdoors is enough to feel the natural mood boost of nature herself. Combine that with the all-body benefits of a good yoga session and you’ve hit the happiness jackpot!
5. Improve your practice
You might have spent hours mastering your indoor headstand, but have you ever tried it on soft grass? Mixing up your yoga practice can help strengthen the body in different ways… A soft, uneven surface like grass or sand can bring a completely different element of balance to your practice.
6. Salute the sun (literally!)
Surya Namaskar is essentially a prayer to the life-giving energy of the sun – and nothing beats the opportunity to salute the sun whilst feeling its full energy and warmth on your skin.
7. A natural yoga playlist
Who needs a yoga playlist when you’ve got the sound of tweeting birds and the rustling of trees as your soundtrack? OK, so if you’re in the city you might have to swap that for the odd police siren or a symphony of tooting horns… But either way, practising outside allows you tune into your surroundings and notice all the magic (and beautiful chaos!) of life happening around you. Love listening to a great soundtrack while you practice? Pump up the volume on your speakers to this inspiring yoga playlist.
We’d love to hear from you – where’s your favourite place to practice outside? Tell us in the comments below!
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