By Mia Barnes for Yoga Medicine.
Yoga provides benefits for your mind, body and soul. These holistic benefits emphasize the connection between your physical body, mind and spirit. Outdoor yoga enhances these benefits in many ways, like heightening your senses and increasing focus. Here are some additional benefits outdoor yoga provides.
Shifts Your Perspective
The physical, mental, spiritual, intellectual and social aspects of your well-being make up your overall health. Practicing yoga outdoors offers a change in your environment that can inspire you to shift your perspective. A change of scenery can provide insight and allow you to feel one with nature.
By resonating with nature, you can align your chakras, boosting your self-confidence and self- awareness and leading to myriad other benefits. Nature naturally makes you more aware of your surroundings. You become more mindful of what surrounds you by heightening your senses, which can boost your meditation and help you practice gratitude.
Yoga studios provide flat and even floors with a quiet environment that promotes balance and focus. Doing yoga outdoors presents challenges like uneven terrain and distractions you’ll need to minimize, which increases the intensity of the practice. Outdoor yoga requires strength and discipline to engage your core and find balance without the assistance of a studio's four walls and floor.
Ensure you wear the proper clothing to do yoga outdoors — it can help protect you from the environment and provide breathability that will optimize your yoga workout. You’ll need focus and concentration to maintain yoga poses and fully engage, which will improve and strengthen your balance.
Provides Health Benefits
Nature is grounding and promotes relaxation, but it also offers significant benefits for your health. Walking barefoot allows the muscles and joints in your feet to stretch. Physically connecting your feet with the Earth provides additional health benefits like relieving stress, improving sleep and reducing body pains.
The stimulation grass and sand present help you feel more connected to your surroundings, which can help you feel grounded, safe and unified. Outdoor yoga allows you to anchor yourself to the ground and become self-aware as you practice poses. By focusing your energy and attention on the soil, you are facilitating your connection to the Earth and grounding your root center.
An obvious benefit of doing yoga outdoors is the sunshine it provides. Getting an extra dose of vitamin D is always a bonus — it strengthens your bones and helps you absorb calcium. Fresh air heightens your awareness of your breath and the vast outdoor space contributes clarity and presentness.
Sunshine naturally boosts your mood and your immune system. It can restore energy and increase vitality and health. You can try the Sun Salutation pose, which arouses your internal energy at any time or location, but practicing it in the sun’s rays can elevate your workout. Work and home life can make experiencing time outdoors challenging, so maximize your yoga practice by moving it outdoors.
Experiment With Outdoor Yoga
Nature awakens your sense and helps you connect with your surroundings, heightens your senses and provides health benefits. Outdoor yoga offers a chance to change your scenery and participate in poses that can enliven your spirit and elevate your routine. Spice things up by moving your mat outdoors to experience outdoor yoga’s benefits.
About the Author
Mia Barnes is a health and wellness freelance writer with a passion for covering topics related to yoga, meditation and mindfulness. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine. Follow Mia and Body+Mind on Twitter and LinkedIn!