Most of the times when we practice yoga, we go to a school to practice in a beautiful space, surrounded by other practitioners: an amazing experience that begs for more. The energy that is created in the space by all those people echoes there for a while. This is something you will most likely feel when you enter the space.
Once in a while we take the time to practice somewhere else. Most often that is in our living room, or another space at home. I would like to add a location to it: NATURE, because the experience of practicing in nature, is one of a kind.
Yes, the ground is uneven, yes your mat (or hands and feet) will get dirty and yes, there might be people watching you. But if you can put that aside, the experience to practice outside is empowering. It brings you closer to yourself, it brings you closer to the earth you are living on and it changes your perspective.
Imagine that instead of looking to the person in front of you, you can look out over a lake; Instead of being surrounded by other people, you can be surrounded by trees; Instead of being surrounded by the music blasting out of the speakers, you are surrounded by the sound of the wind & the birds. And instead of having a fake-lighted room, you can practice with the sun in your face.
I’ve been fortunate to have lived in places that allow (almost year round) to practice outside. In São Paulo, I taught a class every Saturday morning in the Ibirapuera park. Most of my students told me they showed up because it was the perfect start of the weekend. Waking up in a yoga class, outside, looking up to the trees, hearing the birds sing during Savasana. It felt for a moment that we were not in a massive city, it felt for a moment that we were in a different, more peaceful world.
Recently I also learned that practicing yoga doesn’t always mean doing a full sequence of poses (asanas). Sometimes it can be as simple as, taking your shoes off, walking around the grass barefoot, and really really! focusing on your breath, the placement of your feet and the connection your foot makes with the earth. That by itself, can be a powerful yoga in nature experience.
So I would love to challenge you to, next time when you are outside, to find a spot and do 5 minutes of yoga. Any form will do. If you lack inspiration, check my Instagram for yoga in nature pictures.