|i couldn't NOT take this adorable photo of my friend anthony and his doggie daughter miah this morning. at one point she saw a spider on his hip, jumped off, hunted&ate it, and jumped right back on. thanks for looking out, miah.|
there's nothing better than practicing outside. this morning i practiced with John at Trilogy's yoga on the bluff in Long Beach and was inspired to share some ideas for starting an outdoor yoga practice. find a patch of grass, sand or dirt and get ready for the goodness to flood in :)
1. check out the websites of your local studios to see if there are any existing outdoor yoga classes in your area. if you are new to yoga, you may want to attend an indoor class for beginners first. this way you can learn the basic poses and guarantee you're practicing safely and with good alignment. due to the nature of outdoor yoga classes, it can be more challenging for the teacher to verbalize instructions in a loud enough speaking voice and/or take as much time and attention to physically adjust students.
2. bring your own yoga equipment. you can, of course, simply practice on the ground. for more comfort, i suggest a mat that you don't mind getting dirty. i use a thin travel mat that folds easily inside my backpack for classes on the grass, and a crochet "grandma blanket" that's perfect for sandy beach classes.
you will also most likely need to bring your own yoga props. regardless of your flexibility or fitness level, i recommend at least 2 blocks, a strap, and a blanket or towel. props are absolutely key for preventing injuries. if you are unable to bring props, please keep in mind that there is NEVER any need to push your body into an asana (posture) that feels painful or very uncomfortable. we're trying to heal and prevent injuries, not cause them, mkay?
3. no outdoor yoga near you? start your own! understandably, you may feel a little uncomfortable practicing in a public space on your own. this is a great video to get you started- easy to remember, short&sweet, and the exercises don't look that different from your typical calisthenics or cardio warmup.
no one even needs to know you're practicing a 6,000+ year-old healing practice ;) of course, you may find that people come up to you and ask if they can join in!
4. allow your surroundings to become part of your practice. breath in Mama Earth's energy up through the soles of your feet. root your sit bones like tree roots down into the soil beneath you. reach your fingers high above your head and into the clouds and Uni-verse beyond. feel the vast wisdom if the ocean, tree, or field surrounding you. know that you can release all the old, stale energies that no longer serve you into the Earth without guilt or worry; they will be immediately transmuted into pure Love and Light. align your heartbeat with that of the planet, listen to the messages that are there for you in every seagull call and whispering breeze, and watch with delight as more and more miracles enter your life.
Sat Nam & Namaste,