Yoga has become one of the most celebrated activities in America, with an estimated thirty million practitioners across the country. This bodes particularly well for physical and mental health advocates since the practice of yoga, as well as meditation, is known to promote a better quality of life.
There are a number of different ways to practice yoga and it isn’t always as straightforward as rolling out a mat inside one’s home. Some yoga studios will take place inside heated rooms, such as Bikram yoga, while others will focus on movement, such as vinyasa yoga. Many practitioners, however, are now turning to experience yoga outdoors, immersing their experience in nature.
There are a number of benefits as to why yoga sessions outdoors are beneficial and to understand many of them, one only needs to consider the benefits of being in nature. Clean air, tranquil settings, and a healthy dose of sunshine, the latter of which helps the body to produce its vitamin D.
By bringing a yoga session outdoors, a practice that is already focussed on elevating well-being and improving health, individuals and groups also enjoy the aforementioned benefits of nature, creating a harmonious activity that benefits health.
Where To Go
Simply taking your routine out into the open, however, isn’t solely enough. The chosen environments, for a yoga exercise to offer the optimum results, should be serene and comfortable. Some may find their local park suitable, finding a time of day when there are fewer disturbances, whereas others might need to step further into the wild.
For this, there are a number of options, from dense woodlands that offer idyllic privacy to lakes and oceans, with paddleboards enabling yoga practitioners to experience the water, incorporating its movement into routines. These landscapes can also be chosen to suit the weather conditions, with open spaces offering a fantastic landscape for warm days and shaded areas being perfect for the height of summer heat.
Know Your Landscape
The primary risk involved with practicing yoga outdoors, promising the weather is accommodating, is the potential for distraction. Noisiness is a primary concern, although certain aromas can be just as problematic. Since centring oneself is essential, clearing the mind of clutter, it is important that locations are chosen for their potential privacy and insulation from external influences, such as passersby.
There are a number of outdoor yoga groups that have been established in cities and states across the country. By seeking out and joining such groups, you will be able to better understand the ideal environment for wellness in your local area.
Beyond Four Walls
At the heart of yoga is mindfulness, something that can be wholly enhanced by the beauty of natural environments. For many traditional practitioners, confining oneself to the indoors during one’s yoga session is conducive only to limiting distraction. However, the benefits of being among nature, especially the opportunity it allows for grounding oneself and connecting with the wilderness, far outweigh the potential for outdoor distractions.
Yoga instructors will often seek to weave natural elements into practice, such as the lapping of waves or the rustling of leaves. These elements can even heighten the experience for some, helping them to not only escape the stressors of a more urban environment but also the associated feelings of stress and responsibility that are associated with them.