With the weather heating up and the prospect of small classes being held outside, here are a few things you may want to keep in mind to make your al fresco yoga practice a great experience!
Mats – Many yogis talk about the enhanced sense of grounding you get when you forgo your yoga mat for an outside practice. While this may be true, personally, I find using a mat helps me to grip and offers protection from little stones and other things that are lurking on the ground. I always ensure that I wipe down my mat after an outdoor practice to get rid of any dirt or bacteria it may have picked up, which is more important than ever now.
Sunshine – Yoga and sunshine is great! The warmth encourages flexibility and the sun tops up your Vitamin D levels, which helps with healthy bones. The other wonderful effect of sunlight is an increase our levels of serotonin – a hormone that stabilises mood, our sense of well being and happiness. That said, it is important that we remember to protect our skin from the effects of the sun by applying an SPF in advance of our outdoor practice. A pair of sunglasses or peaked hat may also be a comfortable addition to your regular yoga gear.
Nature – When practicing outside, you may start to notice nature more. The sound of birdsong, the blue sky and white fluffy clouds when supine and the feeling of the gentle breeze on your skin. You may also notice some of nature’s smaller creatures, for which an insect repellent may be helpful. You could even make your own by combining in a spray bottle 500ml witch hazel and 1.5 tsp. lemongrass essential oil.
Extras – You may want to have a refillable bottle of water with you to sip if the class heats up! Equally, you may want an extra layer for a super comfortable savasana. Remember to bring any medication that you need for allergies to stings – it’s a good idea to remind your teacher about your allergy too at the beginning of the class.
Preparation – If you suffer from hay fever, remember to take your usual preventative treatments before the class. The other thing to consider is that there are often no toilet facilities where outdoor yoga happens, so unless you enjoy a ‘nature wee’, go before you leave the house!
There is not much better than a yoga practice with the sky above you and the feeling of fresh air on your skin. Now to just find that quiet spot of grass and watch birds flying above while taking a cheeky Supta Baddha Konasana.
Look out for details of my new outdoor sessions on Social Media!