Do you do yoga? Have you ever done yoga in nature? I’ve taken a few yoga classes, but I have never done yoga in nature. Actually, I have never really practiced any mindfulness practices outside except for breathing and grounding, As much as I hate to admit it, I have only done that infrequently. I have had the goal of doing yoga at my local lake but I always forget about it. My goal this summer is to go to a yoga class at least once, if not everytime it is held, at my local lake. It is inexpensive and I know one of the yoga teachers, and I want to do yoga outside!
What are the benefits of outdoor yoga? I can imagine that doing something like yoga in nature just increases the benefit of the practice. One of the things about yoga and other mindfulness practices is that it can be done anywhere. I love that you don’t need special space to do it. There is a Swedish study that talks about viewing nature as increasing focus and relaxation. Nature connects us and doing mindful activities in nature is even stronger when done in nature. Again, using our senses helps to heighten our ability to be present. When you do mindful activities in nature you get to see so many things, hear so many things, feel so much, smell so much. Our senses help to bring us back to the present moment and that help with anxiety, depression, and stress relief. Being outside allows us to breathe in the fresh air. Doing mindfulness practices like yoga in beautiful places also makes us feel good, those endorphins, the feel good hormones increase and we feel happier. One thing I learned, while researching this post, was that people who practice mindfulness, meditation have smaller amygdalas. Your amygdala is where our fight or flight response comes from. People who were more exposed to nature, were found to have lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Being in nature and practicing mindfulness help with stress reduction. Doing both together is really beneficial!
My goal is to get outside and do some mindfulness activities. I hope that I can get to the yoga at the lake, but even if I don’t get there, there is nothing that says I can’t do yoga asanas in the backyard.
Try to get outside and try some mindfulness practices in nature See how it feels!