Take Your Practice to Nature – 5 Tips for Outdoor Yoga
By: AJ Crowell, Publisher, Dallas Yoga Magazine
It’s the perfect time of year to take your yoga practice outside. Especially with the early morning cooler temperatures and the nice breezes we have been experiencing. But you also have to be careful with the intense Texas sun, heat and bugs. So here are a few pointers that will help keep you safe while you are outside connecting with nature.
Uneven Outdoor Surfaces
When you are practicing outside the surfaces are going to be very different from practicing inside on hard floors. Outside you most likely will experience uncertain and uneven ground wherever you are. Be careful of your joints, especially your wrists and ankles which tend to bend and twist easily. Uneven surfaces can cause serious injuries so take the time to clear the area of any rocks, sticks or anything that’s in the way. Try to find a spot where the ground is as smooth and flat as possible before beginning your practice.
Let’s be safe with our practice. You may not be living in a place where the sun is as intense as it is during the summer in Texas. But we must be careful not to get sun burned. Trust me, as you get older you will understand how laying in the sun affects your skin. Wear a healthy sun screen for protection and seek shade. You also don’t want to get dehydrated from the direct sunlight when doing your practice. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water. You’ll be sweating so replenish yourself system.
Choose a Great View & Listen
You may be outside but that doesn’t guarantee you a great view. Try to find a secluded spot where you can enjoy yourself. Seek a place where you can face trees or plants and really connect with nature. Ditch the music and listen for the birds and how the trees sound rustling in the breeze. Listen to your breath. Create your own space.
Connect to the Earth…without Your Mat
This may sound like I’m a girly girl…and I am…I never want to bring my favorite mat outside because I don’t want it to get dirty. But even if you don’t mind a little dirt, mats are made to cushion and not to slip on a hard surface. Often, if you put a mat down on the grass it will slide around and wrinkle making it impossible to hold a pose. Utilize blankets or big towels these will form to the ground better and if you get these dirty it’s not a problem…they are washable.
Another option…GO MAT FREE! Enjoy the feel of the best mat in the world…the grass! Your outside so ground yourself to Mother Earth. Take a moment and feel the healing energy flow and be connected…just be.
Future’s So Bright
If you need to wear sunglasses in the brightness (even when you are in the shade) then wear them! You may have to remove them depending on what poses you are practicing but you also don’t want to be squinting the entire time. That’s not very relaxing. It’s a great idea to bring an extra t-shirt or towel to cover your eyes during your savasana. I have found it’s easy to stare up at the sky and the clouds during savasana and I have to keep my focus on where I am at the present moment so I have learned to close my eyes during this time. After, is when I take the time to relax and find my cloud animals.
One of the best parts of practicing outside is that I can take my time. I’m on my own time table, not the teachers, not the classes, not the studios…just mine. So, I can linger, listen, read and enjoy the moment in nature.
Take advantage of the great outdoors, even if you are a city dweller like I am, you can find that special spot and carve it out just for you.
You can reach AJ Crowell at 214-624-9896 X700 or [email protected]