Tips for an Outdoor Yoga Practice

Outdoor yoga.  Wheel Pose

Thinking of taking an outdoor yoga class or just bringing your yoga practice outdoors?  Outdoor yoga brings another element to a typical yoga class.  You get to experience the typical body and mind benefits of a regular yoga class, but on top of that you get to feel connected with the natural beauty and sounds of the world around you.  Read below for tips on how to prepare if you’re taking your yoga practice outside:

1. Bring a mat that you don’t care if it gets a little dirty – Depending on where the class is held you may get dirt, grass, leaves, etc. on your yoga mat.  Yoga mats are pretty resilient and easy to clean, so don’t worry too much if it gets a little dirty.

2. Wear sunscreen – Unless your practice is during the night or in a shaded area, it is a good idea to put on sunscreen before you hit the mat.  This will help you stay more comfortable during and after the practice.  Just be sure to wash your hands before you get on the mat, otherwise the sunscreen may cause you to slide.

3. Consider wearing bug spray – If you live somewhere where bugs are not a nuisance (please tell me if that place exists), then you can clearly skip this step.  But if you live in an area where bugs are plentiful, especially if you are taking an evening yoga class, consider wearing bug spray.  I love this natural bug spray as an option, and it smells really good too!

4. Wear layers – A light sweater or jacket may be nice for the beginning of the class or when you’re resting in Savasana, but you’ll likely build up some heat during the middle of the practice and want the option to lose some layers to cool off.

5. Get there early – If you’re attending an outdoor yoga class, plan to get there about 10 minutes early to get a spot and get settled in before the class begins.

6. Stay focused – Tune out distractions, but be aware of your surroundings.  Sounds contradictory, right? When you practice outside you will experience distractions that you likely wouldn’t have in an indoor class.  It may just be the sounds of nature or you may hear horns honking, a dog barking, the sounds of children playing, or people walking near where you’re practicing.  Use the distractions to challenge your focus.  Be aware of the sounds, smells, and sights around you, but don’t let that awareness distract from your practice.  Instead bring your concentration to the movement of your body and the flow of your breath and pass everything else off as just background noise.

7. Have fun – Taking your yoga practice to a new or different spot can be exciting and can give you a whole new perspective on yoga.  Enjoy the change of scenery, the sounds of nature, and most of all enjoy the challenging, but relaxing workout you are getting.

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