Practicing Yoga outdoors
Take your (downward) dog out the studio and into nature and make the most of the last few weeks of summer. Until the end of September, Tilly, founder of The Yoga Agency and RYT Yoga Teacher will be teaching classes in Clapham on a fresh rug of astro turf. Find out more and book a class here.
FIVE REASONS TO TAKE YOUR ASS’ANA OUTDOORS:
1. You can 'look up to the sky' or ‘touch the earth with your fingertips’ …literally.
When we take our practice outside, cues such as "turn your gaze up to the sky," or “touch the earth with your fingertips” become more than just figurative language.
You can literally look at the sky. See the clouds moving in the breeze. Watch birds gliding through the air and feel the wind on your cheeks. When you reach your hands down to the earth, you can feel the grass between your fingers and maybe even spy a little woodlouse scuttling off your mat.
Moving our bodies and engaging with nature as it surrounds us, helps to remind us that we don’t just live in our own little bubbles, but we are a part of a greater scheme of life.
2. The Added Benefits of Earthing
Walking barefoot is good for your feet because it allows the many, many muscles and joints in your feet, ankles, and toes to work in a way that they don’t normally do while constricted in shoes.
Earthing (also known as grounding) is the scientific concept of receiving the Earth's surface electrons through the physical connection between the skin and the ground. Electrons are charged particles found in atoms—the building blocks of matter (everything is made of atoms).
The authors of the Journal of Environmental Public Health, believe that reconnecting our bodies with the earth has many benefits including reduced pain and better sleep due to the effect that this energy has on our hormone levels (like the stress hormone cortisol) and free radical oxidation.
3. Get Inspired
Many yoga poses gained their names from plants and animals. Practicing yoga outside allows the yogi to embody the sense of the pose while actually looking at what inspired that pose.
For example, harness the stability and strength of a tree while you stand grounded in Vrksasana (Tree pose). Take flight into Bakasana (Crow pose) and feel like the birds flying above you.
4. Be More Present
Being surrounded by nature awakens our senses. Our eyes can see long distances and natural colours. Our ears can pick up birds chirping in the distance and the breeze blowing around us. Our skin absorbs the warmth of the sunshine’s natural heat waves.
Awakening out senses helps us to be more present in life in each moment with no distractions.
Spending time outside also reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. With lower levels of stress, we can ease into a deeper state of relaxation and enjoy the present moment.
5. Dose of Vitamin D
Before you pop a pill, sit your body under some sunshine. It is very common for Vitamin D levels to decrease during the winter months, so now that the sun's out, you get the all-natural source for the essential Vitamin D. Go and get it!