Outdoor Yoga: 7 Ways to Take Your Om Outside
Get an Outdoor Yoga Mat
If you plan on practicing outside regularly, consider buying a second, thicker mat to help smooth out rough outdoor surfaces (and keep you from dragging dirt indoors). Sarita Louise Moore, a New York-based yoga and dance instructor you may recognize from Lulumeon ads, loves her thick, sticky Manduka yoga mat.
If the surface makes it harder to flow, get a refresher with this lesson on How to Transition Between Yoga Poses with Grace.
Pick the Perfect Spot
Your location will affect the mood of your practice so choose a place where you're comfortable—but one that will also help you escape your hectic day. Smooth, soft surfaces are your asanas' best friend. Kimberly Fowler, author of No OM Zone
, loves to practice at the beach and in her own yard.
Gear Up and Stay Centered
The same rules apply to yoga as to all other outdoor workouts: Don't forget your sunscreen, water bottle, and a towel (which can double as a strap if you need one). And prepare for interested onlookers, Moore warns: "Being able to turn inward and tune in during distraction becomes a major part of the work!"
Practice Before You Practice
Even a slightly uneven surface can make poses like plow, shoulder stands, and head stands tricky (Psst—How to Master Handstand). Your sun salutations and warrior positions should be fine, but always test out your poses slowly and cautiously before getting into the groove. New to practicing on your own? Try this 10-Minute Yoga Workout for Muscle Tone at home.
Use Your Surroundings
You've brought your practice into nature; now don't forget to bring nature into your practice. For balancing poses, pick a perfect cloud or blade of grass to focus your attention on—or do as Fowler suggests and try a simple inversion with the help of your favorite tree. Now that's being one with nature.
Find an Outdoor Class
If you want more guidance, think about taking an outdoor class. During the spring and summer months, lots of studios and communities offer free classes so be sure to take advantage. Start with this list of free fitness classes offered around the country.
Think Beyond the Mat
Incorporate yoga into other outdoor activities, or even into your workday. Try a few poses to stretch before jogging, or check out our CrossFlowX Yoga Routine for Killer Cardio. Remember, you don't need much time to reap yoga's relaxing benefits; a short yogic breathing or meditation session outside during lunch can bust workday stress.
Mastered all the poses? Move up a level with these advanced Yoga Poses to Revamp Your Vinyasa Routine.