Call of the Wild: Practicing Yoga Outside

Nature connects us to our roots. The grass, the ocean, the foliage, and the flowers are all part of our primeval world and it is where we feel the most at home. Practicing yoga outside can transform a stagnant routine into a heightened experience that will enhance wakeful relaxation and internal focus—two important components of a rewarding yoga practice. Spending time in nature can replenish depleted energy.

Our nervous system evolved in a way that punctuates moments of stress with bursts of energy—a survival tactic used when we were part of the hunter-gatherer community. Spending time outside sends signals to the brain that the body is back in its native environment and recalibrates itself to stay alert.  

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 Natural scenery

can heighten awareness.

When you’re with nature, all of your senses wake up—scent, sight, and touch, in particular, activate parts of the brain that make you more present. Fresh air, for example, heightens your breath awareness. You can really feel the oxygen flowing through, clearing your mind, and empowering your practice. We become more fluent in processing a sensory experience it morphs into a sensuous experience that shuts off the list-making part of our brain and brings you into presence.

 Practicing yoga in a new environment can build confidence.Are you used to only practicing indoors? Explore your edge! While familiarity brings security, stepping outside your comfort zone opens a gateway to an entirely new interpretation of your yoga practice. Imagine the power of sun salutations under actual sun rays or the vivacity of a tree pose while focusing on a real tree instead of in the middle of a room.