As yoga steadily gains popularity, yoga studios are saturating the market like Starbucks. The abundance of studios makes it tempting to keep your practice confined within four walls. While many yoga studios are cozy, serene and welcoming places, studios can't compete with the awe-inspiring beauty of nature that is ever present. As Labor Day approaches, you may be looking towards the fall but don't discount summer yet! There is still plenty of time left to take your practice outside into the days of summer. And there are plenty of reasons to do so.
- Sun – Nothing new here but a reminder that vitamin D provides many physical and mental health benefits. Don't forget to apply a natural sunscreen before stepping outside.
- Mix it up – Perhaps you are like me and you have reached periods of burnout from your yoga practice. As the teacher guides you through another sun salutation you are secretly thinking "How many of these have I done in class already today? Can't we do something different?" By taking your mat outside, you add variety to your practice and take preventative measures against yoga burnout.
- Birds and Bees–When you practice outside, you are connecting with the roots of your being - all of our beings – Mother Earth. Take the time to reconnect with nature. Close your eyes and take in the sounds of the birds calling in the distance, the scent of fragrant blossoms, and the feeling of the subtle breeze on your skin. Let life be simple.
Now that I have convinced you to get outside, you might be wondering where or how to practice outside. Here are my suggestions:
- Check with local yoga studios- Many studios are starting to offer outdoor yoga classes in the summer.
- Gather a group of friends – Round up your nearest and dearest yoga buddies for a fun, impromptu outdoor gathering.
- Hire a Teacher – If you can't find any outdoor yoga classes, propose the idea to your favorite yoga teacher or hire a teacher!
- Retreat to the outdoors – Find a retreat that takes place outside (camping, in the jungle, at the beach, etc.) or incorporates outdoor yoga classes as part of the retreat.
Bio: Melissa is looking forward to taking her yoga practice outside this fall at the Red Rock Yoga and Hiking Retreat in otherworldly Goblin Valley, Utah with Get In The Wild Adventures. Besides practicing yoga with goblins, Melissa founded and directs the Northwest Yoga Conference which takes place in the Seattle, WA area each February.