by Alyssa Brown | April 19, 2018 2:02 am
Spring is here and there is no better time to take your yoga practice outside. Warmer temperatures, sunny skies, and flowers blooming everywhere. It’s like nature is inviting you into her arms, with a comforting embrace, saying “Hey, I missed you, let’s reconnect!
For yogis, spring is an incredible opportunity to breathe new life into your yoga practice, by taking it outside. Whether it’s a solo session or a group class in nature, an al fresco practice is always a delight on the senses. Let’s face it, we are meant to spend time outdoors with the elements, but modern life keeps us inside, behind computers, driving cars or cooped up somewhere with artificial lighting glaring down on us.
If you want to re-charge and uplift your day, make a date with nature. Grab your mat and water bottle, put on some sunscreen and take your practice outside this spring. Here are 6 reasons to practice outside:
1. It will ground you.
If you are having a crazy, hectic, or stressful day, an outdoor practice may be just what you need. Being in nature is naturally calming. There is a term that is called “earthing ” that refers to connecting to the Earth’s natural energy for improving overall health. So yeah, let the grass wiggle between your toes.
2. It will boost your Vitamin D levels.
Let the sun shine on your face! It is estimated that over 50% of Americans may be vitamin D deficient, which is alarming because its essential to good health. Having limited exposure to natural light, eating a diet that lacks proper nutrients, and the depletion of soil quality are all contributing factors to this. When sunlight hits your skin, your body synthesizes vitamin D.
3. It will boost your mood.
Getting outside and moving your body is one of the best natural ways to combat anxiety, stress, and depression. Research shows that spending time outside, observing the gorgeous blues and greens, while smelling fresh air can reduce symptoms related to anxiety and depression. If you are in a funk, roll out your mat somewhere scenic and tell those negative emotions to move along!
4. It’s Free!
Paying for studio classes is not cheap. Yes, it’s worth it to be guided by a very talented instructor, to feed off the energy in a crowded room and to find inspiration in a group setting. However, if you are on a budget or want to practice with a friend who can’t afford studio prices, an outdoor practice is a great option!
5. It will strengthen your balance.
When you practice in a new environment, it’s a new experience, especially when you are outside. Your body won’t be used to the surface beneath you or the landscape around you. This will make your balancing poses a bit more challenging. It may cause you to wobble or sway and those movements actually help to build more strength in the muscles that stabilize you in your balancing poses.
6. Meditating in nature is euphoric.
There is a reason that most meditation apps and videos have nature sounds in the background because they aid the process of relaxation. Hearing the sound of trees moving, birds chirping, wind whistling, while feeling a breeze, or sun on your face is exquisite. To be present with all of your senses in nature, on a beautiful day, is a gift.
This Spring, get grounded, get in touch with nature, invite a friend or loved one and share the joy of practicing outside.
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