As yoga steadily gains popularity, yoga studios are saturating the market like Starbucks. The abundance of studios makes it tempting to keep your practice confined within four walls. While many yoga studios are cozy, serene and welcoming, studios can’t compete with the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. As Labor Day approaches, you may be looking towards the fall… but, don’t discount summer yet! There’s still plenty of time left to take your practice outside into the days of summer. And, there are plenty of reasons to do so:

1. Sun – Nothing new here but a reminder that Vitamin D provides many physical and mental health benefits. Don’t forget to apply a natural sunscreen before stepping outside.

2. Mix it up – Perhaps you are like me, and you have reached periods of burnout from your yoga practice. As the teacher guides you through another sun salutation, you are secretly thinking, “How many of these have I done in class already today? Can’t we do something different?” By taking your mat outside, you add variety to your practice and take preventative measures against yoga burnout.

3. Birds and Bees – When you practice outside, you are connecting with the roots of your being – all of our beings – Mother Earth. Take the time to reconnect with nature. Close your eyes, and take in the sounds of the birds calling in the distance, the scent of fragrant blossoms and the feeling of the subtle breeze on your skin. Let life be simple.

Now that I have convinced you, you might be wondering where or how to practice outside. Here are my suggestions:
  • Check with local yoga studios – Many studios are starting to offer outdoor yoga classes in the summer.
  • Gather a group of friends – Round up your nearest and dearest yoga buddies for a fun, impromptu outdoor gathering.
  • Hire a Teacher – If you can’t find any outdoor yoga classes, propose the idea to your favorite yoga teacher, or hire a teacher!
  • Retreat to the outdoors – Find a retreat that takes place outside (camping, in the jungle, at the beach, etc.) or incorporates outdoor yoga classes as part of the retreat. 

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