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Taking Your "OM" Outside: Why Yoga Outdoors is a Great Idea

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Yoga is about being present in the moment and being part of all that is, and nature helps us to make that connection. 

Whether in the mountains, at the beach, or even your backyard, practicing outdoors brings new elements and new inspiration to your practice.

This summer, why not take your practice outdoors and experience the many benefits and challenges of practicing outside? Here’s why taking your yoga practice outside is an excellent idea.

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Heightened Awareness

Practicing yoga in nature enhances our practice in beautiful and exciting ways. It has been shown to increase internal focus and wakeful relaxation, both important parts of a rewarding practice.

When we practice outside, our senses are stimulated in a way that doesn’t happen inside.  Our sight, sense, and touch are stimulated, and as a result, we become more present. The feel of grass or a sandy beach underneath our feet, or even a gentle breeze caressing our skin all helps to bring us into the present moment.

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Better Balance

Outdoor yoga provides a true balance challenge, and calls us to a heightened awareness due to the uneven natural surfaces of grass, sand, or the moss in a wooded setting. But as with anything in life, the more we are challenged, the stronger we grow in our abilities. 

When balancing inside, we have more control over our environment. When practicing outside, we are challenged to welcome the elements of the outdoors and to let go of our requirements for how things should be. We must embrace our outdoor environment and manage our approach as we move toward balancing poses.

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Increased Strength in Body and Mind

Yoga helps us to build strength in all areas of ourselves, whether in body or in our mind. Taking our practice outside compels us to be more in tune with our physical and mental state, therefore challenging us in ways that practicing inside cannot do. 

The outdoors challenges us to use more of our physical and core strength to remain stable on uneven terrain. We can also be called to use our mental strength to stay focused when distractions occur, such as loud noises, other living beings, and even weather changes.

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Deeper Connection With Nature and Ourselves

The best part of practicing outdoors is the opportunity to align with the rhythm of nature, experiencing the wonder of the outdoors and incorporating that wonder and inspiration in our practice. Whether it is a beautiful sunset, an ocean breeze, towering trees, soft grass, or sand, we are reminded of the wonder of nature and the beauty all around us. 

When we move out of the yoga studio and into nature, we challenge our ability to feel balanced in any situation.  When we take our practice outdoors, we are practicing the act of taking yoga off our mat and into the world where the environment isn’t designed for ease or comfort. 

There is much to learn about ourselves when we take our practice outside: how we react, adjust, and move into a new setting, and how practicing yoga outdoors might reflect our actions in life.

Practicing outside is an excellent way to balance an inside practice with new ways of connecting and growing through yoga.  This summer, take some time to practice outdoors and challenge every aspect of your yoga practice. Build strength and stability as you feel the power of nature, and connect deeply with your practice and yourself! 




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