There are many ways to do this and everyone chooses the one that best suits their needs, but one of my favorites is doing yoga outdoors. In this article, you will find a reflection on how the practice of outdoor yoga can benefit our body and mind.
The benefits of outdoor yoga
It’s not just getting to touch your toes. It’s not even taking a picture upside down and posting it on Instagram. Practicing yoga goes far beyond all this: it means re-educating the body to breathe. It means making our minds more flexible, releasing muscular and non-muscular tension. But we don’t stop there.
Yoga gives awareness and clarity, thanks to the reconnection with ourselves and the ability to observe ourselves without judgment, simply by accepting us.
Practicing yoga outdoors can make this process even more immediate and intense. The energy released by nature reminds us that we are part of something much bigger than us. And as soon as we realize it and accept it (this magical moment can also take years and years of practice!) We can get in tune with the entire universe, letting ourselves go and opening our hearts and gaze to the wonder that surrounds us.
Differences of yoga in nature and indoors
We all have a favorite place where we prefer to roll out the yoga mat. Whatever that place and wherever it is, it gives us peace and serenity every time we enter it. And each place will have different characteristics: in our home, there will be all the comforts, in the studio we will find other yogis, outdoors instead we will be in contact with nature.
When I was practicing in my studio in Milan, I often felt a lot of difference in energy depending on the class, the people, and the teacher I found. And it is precisely in the energy that lies the difference between practice in nature and a closed environment.
As soon as we reconnect with nature, the energy that can be released in the course of practice is extraordinary.
Tips for doing yoga outdoors
In the beginning, it is not easy:
The mat gets dirty.
The ground is uneven.
There are dirt, grass, and stones that could get in the way of the practice.
There are many external factors that we cannot control: the wind, the sun, the rain … all variables that can become distractions or annoyances at first.
Once you have found a quiet spot where you can spread the mat, the first thing to do is to center yourself and find your balance in a place that we do not know and do not feel “safe” like that of home. A few moments to get together, a little pranayama and we are ready to begin.
Our practice will flow. We will have no interruption but a few birds chirping here and there or an ant that will slip between our toes as long as we are in the face-down dog. Maybe a few snags here and there the first few times may be there, but I can assure you that the relaxation in Savasana will be the best of your life!
Yoga is the connection with nature
Yoga educates us to listen: of the body, breath, and ourselves in the present moment. It teaches us that there are times for noise and silence, times to act and times to stop. And that the body speaks to us, but that to understand it, we need to listen to it. And with nature, it works the same way.
Nature speaks to us at all times, but to listen to it and reconnect with it, we must stop for a moment. By developing the technique of listening to ourselves on the mat, we can then more easily take it off the mat, learning to bring conscious attention to the reality that surrounds us.
The modern disconnection from nature
We got used to it. Modern society has made us more and more connected to the web, making any communication possible with anyone in the world thanks to a smartphone and some simple apps. Still, all this has made us increasingly disconnected from real life and nature.
Overwhelmed by the endless list of commitments and things to do every day, we forget about ourselves and the importance of keeping in touch with the reality surrounding us. The rhythms of modern life have disrupted our natural rhythm, asking us to be more and more productive simply because this is another day at work.
We keep going further and pushing ourselves even as the body asks us to stop and go out for a walk in the sun. There are some questions. However, that can help us reconnect and re-tune with nature.
At any time of the year and wherever you are in the world, start observing your surroundings more carefully, using all your senses and looking for details. Ask yourself what the light is like, what colors and shades the sky has, what are the scents of this season, how do you feel, and your mood today.
I wanted to share what I think about nature in this article because it is fundamental in my life. I hope that these words and outdoor yoga will help you rediscover, or at least deepen, the connection with nature.
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