New to-do: Take yoga outside
Yoga doesn’t have to mean cramped, hot studios or commuting to class. Kat, founder of Movement for Modern Life, has the perfect solution – easy sessions you can do anytime, anywhere, even outside where she loves to practice yoga most. We asked her to take us through taking yoga outside. Here she is…
I’m writing this sitting outside in the early evening hazy sunshine, wrapped up in a jumper (this is the north of England, during a particularly dismal June) and I’m loving the birdsong, the views and the countryside.
I know that some don’t love the countryside as much as I do, but in the UK, we don’t always have sunshine, or heat (in fact, both are pretty rare), and that means that on any occasion I can, I take to the outdoors to exercise. It’s all about appreciation of the moment.
This includes my yoga practice. In fact, it’s absolutely integral to my year-round wellbeing that I enjoy yoga outside during those few precious months of warmth. In early spring, when the daffodils are out and there’s still a nip to the air, I put on an extra layer until I heat up. I watch the birds preparing their nests, and then feed their young – all while I’m performing Asana rituals. In mid-summer, when I might have to take to the shade or I’m on holiday, you’ll find me on a terrace outside with my laptop and mat. I’ll even practice outside right through to the chilly autumn.
Why do I do it? Well, here are 5 reasons why practicing yoga outside is simply awesome:
I get to appreciate the natural beauty of where I am. Even if the views aren’t spectacular, I can usually hear birdsong. This makes my yoga practice stronger, calmer and makes me fall in love with this beautiful world even more.
I get to do my yoga on my favourite mat – no mat! I love the feeling of the grass beneath my feet when practicing yoga outside. We wear shoes most of the time, which means we can be very out of tune with the natural energy of the earth. Nothing is more grounding than feeling the world on your bare feet.
I get to feel a special kind of smug. I practice yoga online. When my teacher says, “Turn to face the wall”, and I see a grotty studio… or, “Look up at the ceiling”, and I see clouds overhead, I feel pleased I get to practice in beauty.
I get to breathe in the fresh air. My yoga practice is now more than ever, a breathing practice. As my ribs expand with each delicious, precious, long inhale, I feel fresh, wonderful air entering my lungs. No air conditioning. No sweat from other students, just the beautiful clear air.
I can practice anytime. Part of the joy of practicing yoga outside is that you don’t need to clear your room, you don’t need to schlep to a studio; just get in your garden or the park. And hey, it’s summer, so grab a friend or two and move together. Whenever suits you, just start and enjoy.
What better way to appreciate the now than taking your yoga outside when you can? Off you go, hurry down to the park, (stream and buffer your video first) and go move.