Practicing Yoga Outside

One of the best aspects of practicing yoga is how portable it is. There are no large, bulky machines or heavy equipment required to do yoga - at the very most you might need a mat and a few props to support you but yoga is so down-to-earth and accessible that even without those things you can still keep to your practice. And because yoga is so easy to practice anywhere there might even come a day when you decide to practice it - out of doors.

Yoga outside can be a beautiful and very relaxing experience. There’s nothing like going through your poses while in your garden or on the beach. Yoga, after all, is a very nature based form of exercise. Many of the poses are named after plants or animals and the movement of yoga can inspire you to reconnect with nature and to be more environmentally conscious.

Taking your yoga practice outdoors is obviously a bit different than being in the studio though so a few extra preparations in advance can help make your experience practicing yoga outside smooth and easy.

Before you head out to start your poses take some time to consider what sort of ground you’ll be practicing on. If you’re headed to the beach and will be on mostly sand there isn’t a need for a yoga mat - and in fact having one might actually make it a bit more difficult for you to practice as mats can move around a bit on unstable ground. If you’re going to be near the ocean as well take into consideration the movement of the tides and the waves and be aware of how close you are to the water not just so you don’t get wet but for safety as well.

If you’re planning on practicing out in your backyard or something along those lines just be sure to take stock of your surrounding before you begin. No one wants to be interrupted halfway through their sequence by a curious neighbor craning over the fence and stepping on a sprinkler head or something of that nature isn’t fun either.

More remote places like up in the mountains or on a hike have their own special challenges as well. Be aware of wild animals that might be in the area as well as any people that might be nearby. Overall just being conscious of your environment and the place you choose to practice in can make a big difference.

Now since you’re practicing outside you probably wont need some of the same things you would in a studio. Many yogis who have a habit of practicing outside don’t use their mats, and instead invest in some “yoga shoes” that protect their feet while still allowing them all the freedom to move. This can keep your mat from getting dirty or damaged and it also has the bonus of allowing you to sit down for a few poses any time you like - mat or no mat.

There are however, some things you may want with you that a studio wouldn’t normally require. You may want some sunglasses that will stay securely on you as you’re moving from pose to pose. You may also want some bug repellant as well as some sunscreen.

Choosing to practice outside can also have an impact on the poses you choose to do. Depending on your location and the type of ground your practicing on you may want to do more upright poses and less of the ones that require you to be laying down or sitting.

Overall practicing outside can be a great experience and can really take your yoga to a new level or shake up an old routine that’s gotten boring just be sure to be aware of your surroundings before you begin and enjoy the moment!