As the weather warms up, think about taking your yoga practice out of your living room or local studio and into the great outdoors. Practicing yoga outdoors is an ideal way to reconnect with nature, be mindful of your surroundings, and enjoy the rejuvenation of fresh air.
An outdoor yoga practice can also mean wind, bugs, dirt, and other complications that you won’t find in a studio. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Here are a few of our favorite places to enjoy yoga out in the world that should benefit your practice – rather than distracting from it. Below that, we have a few tips for getting the most out of an outdoor yoga practice.
- Practice near a stream, river, or waterfall.
If you live near a brook, a waterfall, or a raging river, take your mat outside and setup right along the bank. You’ll find the sounds of the flowing water calming, and the continual noise will help keep your head clear of distracting worries.
- Practice on a hilltop.
Or basically anywhere that you can get a great view. That could include your own second-story patio or the roof of your apartment building. Getting up high helps you gain a little perspective and feel freer. Your tree pose may just reach a little bit higher when you’re standing tall on top of the world.
- Practice at the beach.
You probably don’t want to practice on dry, hot sand, but if you live near a beach with grass that approaches the water, try practicing there for an open, celebratory experience. If you don’t mind getting wet, you can also ditch your mat and try a few sequences along the edge of the surf. Unexpected splashes will bring joy to your heart, and the natural tilt of the shore just might give you the extra bit of support you’ve been missing in certain poses.
- Practice under a favorite tree.
Find a nice level patch of grass, and remember to gaze up at the swaying branches and fluttering birds throughout your practice. Then close your eyes and feel how the sun and shade play against your skin.
Tips for Enjoying Your Outdoor Practice
The great and terrible thing about practicing yoga outdoors is the unpredictability of it all. The best way to get the most out of your outdoor practice is to be prepared.
Wear your sunscreen, and dress in layers. Opt for organic yoga apparel that breathes and that you’ll feel comfortable in if a family happens to walk by. (We’re not saying you need to be modest – just make sure you’re comfortable being seen in all sorts of positions.) Remember to bring extra water, as the sun will cause you to dehydrate much more quickly. And bring your mat. You may not use it, but you’ll be glad to have it, just in case.