Practising yoga outdoors can be a wonderful way to enhance your yoga practice and benefit your overall health and wellbeing. In this blog post, we will explore some of the many benefits of doing yoga in nature and how you can get started with your own outdoor yoga practice.
Firstly, being outdoors in nature has been shown to have numerous health benefits, such as reducing stress levels, improving mood and mental clarity, and even boosting the immune system. This makes it an ideal setting for practising yoga, as yoga itself is also known to have numerous health benefits for both the body and mind.
One of the most significant benefits of doing yoga outdoors is the opportunity to connect with nature. Being in nature allows us to feel more grounded and connected to the earth, which can help us feel more present and mindful during our yoga practice. Additionally, yoga outdoors provides a change of scenery from our usual indoor environments and can help us feel more inspired and creative in our practice.
Another benefit is the increased exposure to natural light and fresh air. Sunlight is an important source of vitamin D, which is essential for bone health, immune function, and mental wellbeing. Being outdoors also allows us to breathe in fresh air, which can help us feel more energized and focused during our practice.
When doing yoga outdoors, we may also encounter natural elements such as uneven ground, wind, and sun exposure. These challenges can actually be beneficial to our practice, as they require us to be more present and mindful in our movements, leading to a deeper sense of embodiment and awareness.
Doing yoga outdoors also allows you to practise Earthing or Grounding, by connecting with the earth's natural electrical charge by walking barefoot on the ground, though earthing is a relatively new concept and not extensively researched, here are some of the potential benefits of earthing:
Reduced inflammation: Earthing has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body, which can help alleviate pain and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Improved sleep: Earthing can help regulate the body's circadian rhythm, leading to better sleep and more restful nights.
Reduced stress and anxiety: Earthing has been shown to have calming effects on the body, reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol and promoting feelings of relaxation and calm.
Increased energy and vitality: Earthing can help improve blood flow and oxygenation, leading to increased energy and vitality.
Improved immune function: Earthing has been shown to enhance immune function by increasing the activity of white blood cells, which help protect the body against infections and illnesses.
Improved mood and mental clarity: Earthing has been shown to have mood-enhancing effects, leading to improved mental clarity, focus, and overall sense of wellbeing.
While the benefits of earthing are still being studied, it is generally considered safe and may be a simple and effective way to improve your health and wellbeing. To practice earthing, simply spend time outside in bare feet or use conductive materials that transfer the earth's energy to the body. As always, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new health practices.
Getting started with outdoor yoga is simple. All you need is a yoga mat, comfortable clothing, and a quiet outdoor space. You can practice in your own garden, a local park, or even by the beach. Just be sure to choose a spot that is relatively flat and free of obstacles.
If you are new to yoga, it may be helpful to take a few indoor classes first to become familiar with the basic postures and alignment. You can then bring this knowledge with you to your outdoor practice and adapt as needed to suit the environment.
In conclusion, practising yoga outdoors is an excellent way to enhance your yoga practice and improve your overall health and wellbeing. By connecting with nature, breathing in fresh air, and challenging ourselves in new ways, we can deepen our practice and experience the many benefits of yoga in a beautiful and inspiring outdoor setting.
At Asana Tribe Yoga Spain, we organise regular hikes to the mountains around Mijas where we do yoga overlooking the sea on a marble quarry, which is a stunning backdrop for your yoga practice. You can find out more or book your hike here.