(Salutation Nation last September in Halifax Commons. Choice of event wasn't the greatest as there were THREE softball games going on with balls flying into the crowd a few times!)
Beyond the silliness of some ridiculous capitalistic "raising money to practice for free in central park", Outside Yoga is all about connecting with Nature and your green crunchy self. If you ever need a bit of motivation to crunch-ify your life, practicing yoga outside can give you a boost.
As this will be my sixth summer of outside yoga practice, I've gathered up a few tips on outdoor yoga practice that I thought I'd share. Especially for all my EcoYogi peeps who have yet to take the outdoor yoga plunge!
(equipped with my old flaking mat I saved for Yoga in the Park, my Klean Kanteen water bottle and sunglasses!)
- Choose your yoga mat carefully. Now, I don't want to endorse buying several mats, cuz that's wasteful... but if you have a less preferred mat I would suggest using that one outside. Outside Yoga can get dirty and messy...
- Be prepared to clean your mat more often, or to accept that your outdoor mat will be messier.
- TPE and rubber yoga mats are ruined by the sun's rays. No lie.
(practicing on the red beaches in PEI last summer. Although it was overcast, the temperature was warm and the ocean was so powerful)
- Check the weather before practicing outside. I know this sounds silly, but if it's giving 30 degrees outside you might choose something you'll sweat less in... That and practicing in a torrential downpour might not be your plan for that day.
- Wear sunscreen and sunglasses. Skin cancer isn't cool.
- Bring water and extra sunscreen. You never know.
- If it's windy- rocks, flip flops or blocks work really well to keep your mat from blowing up around your legs. Cuz that's just awkward.
(practicing on the dock at the cottage this summer. studiously facing away from the neighbours)
- Choose a flat surface to practice on. Scope out your spot- it might look like a slight incline, but when you've only ever practiced on a studio floor, you'll feel like you're listing to the side or about to fall flat on your face.
- Check for dog poo. Seriously, parks are terrible for this. Last year during our practice a poor girl put her hand in the grass only to find out it wasn't just grass. :S
- Remove rocks, broken mussel shells or any other sketchy debris.
- Practicing on a dock can be fun... but remember docks typically move on the water. Be mentally prepared to have a bit of a tipsy practice. Hangover yoga could be a bad idea. (trust me).
- Choose your level of privacy. Practicing in a public space means accepting that people will see you and perhaps even take your picture ("look honey- a yogi!!"). More privacy=a tree-friendly area in the park, less privacy=the dock. You might like the idea of practicing surrounded by water, but all the other cottages or lake people can see you clear as day.
- Be prepared to politely ask some creepy old man in a motorized chair to stop zooming in on you and your friends' chests and taking pictures from 5ft away. (this happened two weekends ago).
- Your practice might not be exactly the same. It's amazing how our foundation is so essential to what we expect from our practice.
- Balance postures are tricky when the ground is uneven, your drishti (focus) is on swaying grass or moving waves and the wind is actually pushing on you. All the cool yogis fall over more outside.
- Focus and concentration are a bit trickier to come by when there are squirrels, crows, ants crawling on your mat, container ships and small children screaming "look mommy! YOGA!!!".
- You may feel more vulnerable in savasana with your eyes closed.
- Using a water bottle as a block is completely acceptable.
- Outside Yoga is the perfect environment to have a playful practice!
Now- google your city and "Yoga in the Park" and you are as good as ready!!
article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com