As temperatures start to cool down a little, outdoor yoga is a fun and safe alternative to standard yoga studio classes. This article will help you understand how outdoor yoga could be a good fit for you.
Types of outdoor yoga
Perhaps the two best outdoor yoga classes available today are Vinyasa and Gentle Yoga. Vinyasa, being one of the most popular yoga types, is one of the best options. A gentle yoga class offers a less rigorous option for those students that are seeking a more moderate approach.
During a Vinyasa class, participants are led through a flowing sequence of movements. The instructor will help you focus on your breath and movement to calm and unify your mind, body, and soul.
Practicing Vinyasa outdoors will deepen your meditation and allow for an even stronger spiritual connection.
Outdoor Gentle Yoga
Outdoor gentle yoga provides an opportunity to practice yoga and receive the benefits in a different manner. As the name suggests, gentle yoga is a great option for many people as it is less strenuous and demanding than some other classes may be. Some students prefer this type of class to other forms of yoga, as it fits them better.
Gentle yoga is a great class for those new to yoga. In gentle yoga, the body is moved in a non-strenuous, comfortable way, in a slow-paced, well-supported and relaxing way.
Focusing on more accessible poses, it can be an easier task for some. Gentle yoga may appeal to people that have physical or movement limitations due to any number of reasons. It is also popular with people that are less advanced and feel more comfortable with a more gentle pace and technique.
What are the benefits of outdoor yoga?
Most yoga enthusiasts practice yoga at a studio led by a trained instructor. With the current public health crisis, some are reluctant to continue their indoor practice. While virtual classes are always an option and bring much of the transformative power of a traditional yoga class, they can also be isolating for some who prefer the in-person experience.
Outdoor yoga classes blend the safety and distance of virtual classes with the communal and energy-building nature of in-person classes. During outdoor yoga classes, you can stay at a safe distance from others while practicing, free of enclosed spaces, while enjoying nature and an in-person connection.
But safety isn’t the only reason outdoor yoga is becoming more popular. Outdoor yoga brings a whole host of benefits to those who practice it. Here are some of the top perks of practicing yoga outside the studio:
Being outside means you get to be part of nature
Time in nature is the most obvious benefit of outdoor yoga. Most of us spend our days cooped up in our offices, our houses, or in transit. All that time sitting around inside is unhealthy for our minds and our bodies.
Spending time in nature is one of the most natural mood lifters and best ways to promote our health. In nature, you get reminded of your place on earth and can feel connected to the natural world. Yoga’s main goal is to quiet and strengthen the mind—both of which can be better accomplished in the peacefulness of the outdoors.
You’ll strengthen your balance skills
Being outside means you won’t necessarily have the luxury of a flat floor or a convenient wall. Outdoor yoga requires discipline and strength. Not only will there be more distractions outside than in a quiet, climate-controlled studio, but you’ll also have to get used to the terrain and the lack of anything to cling to if you feel wobbly.
Outdoor yoga leads to independence and the cultivation of an inner strength that allows you to deepen your practice and engage more fully. You’ll have to focus your mind, minimizing distractions and concentrating on maintaining poses, while you strengthen your muscles and improve your balance.
The outdoors can deepen your meditation
Meditation is a key part of yoga. Many people regularly practice yoga for its mind-clearing benefits.
Instructors often prompt their students to meditate with cues that encourage them to tune into their breathing, absorb their surroundings and physical sensations, and to stay present in the here and now.
In the controlled setting of a yoga studio, it isn’t too hard to tune out distractions. If you close your eyes and focus, you can usually forget the sound of other people’s breathing or rustling on their mats. Outside, it might not be so easy.
The outdoors is full of distracting sounds: birds, planes, wind, insects. You can’t control the sounds, smells, and feeling of the outdoors, which means you’ll have to work extra hard to reach the meditative flow-like state you’re trying to achieve during a good yoga practice.
Soak in the beautiful view
Being mindful during a yoga practice requires you to fully notice and absorb your moment to moment experience. That means paying attention to and appreciating your surroundings.
When you’re inside the yoga studio, your sensory experience is limited. While studios are designed to provide a certain and specific feeling, a change can sometimes be advantageous to some. Outdoor yoga lets you reconnect with the landscape around you. Let the natural view reinvigorate you and your practice rather than always being cooped up in a studio.
Understand how transportable a yoga practice is
Yoga is a practice, meaning you can do it anywhere. With the right guidance, you can enjoy a good yoga session wherever you need. Practicing yoga outdoors allows you to better embody the yoga mindset—noticing and accepting the present moment.
When you practice outdoor yoga, you remind yourself how spiritual yoga is. It’s a mindset that you can take with you anywhere.
Outdoor yoga at Yoga Now Chicago
While the weather stays warm, outdoor yoga is a popular option for those who want to keep up with their yoga practice going back out in nature. Yoga Now Chicago offers a wide variety of outdoor yoga classes and meeting times for those who want to take their yoga practice outside. Every weekday, you can look forward to yoga classes offered at different times in a variety of locations around the Chicago area.
Yoga Now Chicago takes your health and safety seriously. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor classes will be safely socially distanced to protect everyone’s health. You can enjoy outdoor yoga as a safe alternative to indoor classes.
Register online with Yoga Now Chicago today to save your spot in one of the upcoming outdoor yoga classes!