Abandon the safe and familiar confines of the yoga studio, and take your practice outside into the summer. When the weather is great, the world can be your classroom. Practicing yoga and meditation outdoors will connect you with the earth. Venture beyond your own backyard, and reap the benefits of yoga at the park, beach and mountains. Just make sure you take along sunscreen and insect repellant: exposure brings its own set of challenges as well as these seven benefits.
- Nature is simply beautiful.
- No crowding. Ever.
Crowding is a non-issue when you take your mat outside. No need to go toe to toe with the classmate doing downward dog behind you. You don’t have to be up close and personal with other students jammed into a crowded studio when the outdoors beckons.
- You’ll feel better.
Grounding or having direct contact with the earth can reduce stress and pain, according to research. Making an actual connection with grass or sand may even lessen the risk of heart problems.
- You’ll soak up some rays
Head for the shade is the temps are soaring and you’ll get the benefit of all that lovely vitamin D from the sun. Been feeling a little down late;y? Basking in the sun can help depression. Don’t forget the sunscreen; you’ll still want protection from too much of those lovely thse UHFs. .
- Use the challenge the terrain provides.
Break free from the same-old, same-old routine. Heading outdoors means you’ll be exercising on different surface, and you’ll find yourself challenged to adapt to uneven ground.
- Connect with your neighborhood.
Head for a nearby park, and you’ll soon feel more in touch with the neighborhood than you would just shuttling from door to door with little time in between. Make the neighborhood your own. Traffic noise fades into the background and bird tweets take over. Round up some friends if exercising under the eyes of the world would make you feel vulnerable. (And who wouldn’t?)
- You’ll learn to focus.
Controlling your reactions deepens your practice. Use what the outdoors gives you to sharpen your concentration. Whether the distractions are as lovely as a flock of gulls overhead or as annoying as city bus noise, the outdoors serves up plenty of distractions. Use the challenges to learn to truly “Zen out.”