The highlight of my weekend, by far, was an outdoor yoga class at the vineyards on Long Island’s east end.
isn’t that the greatest shirt that my BFF got us!
My BF/sister-in-law drove out from PA for the weekend; we enjoyed a simple dinner at my apartment on Friday, rented a movie, and went to bed early before waking up early to head out east for a 10am vineyard class and tasting.
I often do outdoor yoga by myself, but it’s a whole different feeling to take a studio practice, with a group of dedicated yogis, outside into nature (more about that below). The yoga class was run by one of my favorite instructors, the weather was perfect, and, with such a great turnout, the positive energy was invigorating.
It was a great class, calm yet incredibly awakening, but my favorite part was having time to chat with my instructor afterwards. Over a glass of wine, we chatted about our love for yoga, where we want to take our practices and fun things to come in our futures. It’s always a treat for me to be able to see my instructors “in real life” and get to know them on a more personal level.
After our instructor left, my friend and I went for a long walk and worked on our yoga practice some more. She’s been taking adult gymnastics for a while, and has recently begun to dedicate more time to her yoga practice. I’m so happy to share my passion with my best friend, and I always find it interesting how her gymnastics knowledge, especially with handstands, plays into her growth as a yogi. Of course after a glass of wine, we had more laughs than anything else…
Practicing yoga outdoors is such a different and wonderful experience with so many benefits. I can’t wait until next months vineyard session.
- The breathing practice is intensified and purified outside. Yoga relies heavily on breath – the senses of nature, such as the smell of the grass and sound of the ocean, only help intensify and synchronize the breath.
- The natural floor, whether grass or rock, can intensify poses and force you to use different muscles to stable yourself on an unstable terrain. The slight change makes for an entirely different practice.
- A sun salutation is magical and revitalizing under the sun, plus the dose of vitamin D does your body a world of good.
- A large part of yoga is learning to embrace the stillness of what is around you. Nature empowers us to free out spirit and to connect with the present moment.
- Nature invites us to welcome the elements. In a studio or home practice, we have the option to change the heat settings, open up the windows, close to the door to external sounds. Practicing in nature forces us to embrace the elements and to use our inner strength to keep focus on practice.
- It’s humbling. Nothing makes us feel so small, yet part of something so large and magnificent as the unending horizon. Nature is the perfect setting to connect to the expansiveness of the universe.
xo, and namaste
Do you bring your yoga practice (or other fitness activity) outside? Let me know in the comments below!