This summer was our first summer with a lawn and a solid fence. I feel like it is my own special retreat. I have a waterfall gurgling in the corner and a bench at the edge or the eves. I like to spend time out there feeling the grass between my toes or just sitting in the sun listening to the water and birds. To add onto that, this summer, I was able to take my yoga outside.
I set my laptop up on the bench and my mat in front of it. I had to make sure the angle was good for me to see the screen at all levels. Then I began. The volume was a problem because it didn’t amplify well in the open space. I will have to get some speakers for it later. But, I was able to follow along with the instructor well enough. It was very refreshing to be in the cool grass with the fresh air and calming sounds. When I walked away from the practice, I was at peace.
Outdoors, yoga is amplified. It challenges the senses and balance. It creates a connection to the ground in a way that indoor yoga never will. It helps with the meditation portion giving a more complete experience. I have tried yoga at different times in my yard. I have come to enjoy all times and look forward to the next practice outside.
I have since taken my own routine to the beach and out on the trail. Once when we were camping and I was waiting for my husband to wake up to make breakfast, I decided to try it on the beach. I have a very simple series that I do daily; I did it that day. I had no mat since I didn’t plan to do yoga. I got right out on the sand and did my best. The sand definitely made a difference. I had to concentrate more for balance and make some adjustments during the pose as the sand shifted. The sound of the water lapping the beach and the birds overhead elevated the experience. I was glad to have done it and plan to do it on all our camping trips. The other time was when I was backpacking with my daughter. Again, I was waiting for her to wake before fixing breakfast. I did all my stretches and still had time. So, I stretched out my tarp and did the simple series. I had to use logs and tree trunks to aid with balance because the ground sloped quite a bit, but again I felt I had a better experience. Here there was the creek and fresh air to aid in the peacefulness. I plan to develop a backpacking yoga flow and start practicing every time I go backpacking. It helped me get going in the morning, and I was able to squat deeper when I went to fill my water shortly afterwards.
I knew that many people claimed that outdoor yoga was best, and the pictures lured me. I am glad that I finally have a place to practice it outdoors, in good weather of course. And, now I have proof that I need to do it while traveling.
My current simple routine is to hold each pose as long as I can each day. The poses are as follows (in order): downward dog, plank, left leg lunge, forward fold, brief half way up, forward fold, warrior 2, half moon, left leg lunge, downward dog, plank, right leg lunge, forward fold, brief half way up, forward fold, warrior 2 (opposite side), half moon (opposite side), right leg lunge, downward dog, plank. My favorite pose is the half moon, but I would like to mix up the balance pose maybe using dancer’s pose or eagle pose. I do tree pose often in the evenings.
Hopefully you will find a place that encourages you to practice yoga, outdoors if you can. If you have a place, where is it? And what is your routine?