There are tons of things to love about summer, the warm weather, BBQ with friends, and hanging out at the lake, but our favorite thing about summer is definitely taking your yoga practice outside. We covered in a previous post why it’s so important to reconnect your body to nature through the practice of yoga outside. It’s holistic and beautiful, combining spirit, mind, and body with the natural beauty that surrounds you.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to be in the classroom for support and instruction, but there’s just something about connecting to the earth, the sky, and the people around you that creates a beautiful atmosphere — even in its imperfections. Give yourself space and time to find what’s right for you.
It’s like yoga instructor, Gillian Comstock says, “Think of nature as a yoga partner, and suddenly a whole world of props opens up.”
So grab your mat, find a shady little copse in your local park, and do these poses with a greater sense of how you fit into the world around you. This is a great way, not too strenuous way to start your yoga practice. Good luck and Namaste.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose): A Standing Pose for Mindfulness
Especially when you’re starting out, it’s good to keep your poses simple so that you can explore the space around you — it’s important to enjoy your surroundings, it’s why you’re outside in the first place. Tadasana is a great way to focus on mindfulness while still creating a good stretch for your body.
Stand with your feet apart. Spreading your toes, exhale as you ground each foot, feeling your weight press down into the earth. Inhale and lift your quadriceps. Retain the breath as you gently squeeze your perineum, engaging your core. When you exhale, draw your tailbone down as you lift up out of your waist. Inhale again. Open and widen your chest along the collar bone. Let the breath rise up through your neck with a gentle lift, free of tension. Exhale and roll your shoulders back and down. Bring your arms overhead, palms shoulder-width apart and facing each other.
Find a point at eye level while using your peripheral vision to notice the light, ground, clouds — whatever comes naturally. Take it all in, softly. Now imagine things that cannot be seen. Extend and contract your vision until it is inward, concentrating on your inner-self, scanning the body for sensations.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose): A Balancing Pose to Engage the Body and Mind
From Tadasana, ground your right foot and establish a steady, even breath. Focus your gaze forward. Inhale, bend your left knee, and place the sole of your left foot on your inner right thigh, toes pointing down. In the beginning it’s ok if you can’t reach too high, your foot should rest wherever you can find balance.
Exhale and turn your left knee out so that it is on the same plane as your torso. On an inhalation, bring the hands to a praying position (Anjali Mudra, Salutation Seal) at the center of your heart. After five full breaths, exhale as you bring your hands (with palms still together) down your midline and release your foot. Relax, and close your eyes. Open your eyes, and let your awareness include anything that you see in front of you, a bird’s nest, a sunny branch moving in the breeze, simply observe.
Balasana (Child’s Pose): Get Back to the Earth. Literally.
Begin by kneeling on your hands and knees. Your knees should be about hip-distance apart and parallel, with your big toes touching. Inhale and focus on the ground in front of you. Exhale, and extend back so that your buttocks touch (or move down) toward your heels. Move your top half forward, letting your torso rest between your thighs, as your forehead sinks toward the earth.
Bringing your arms along your sides, extend them out behind the buttocks. Turn the palms up. Inhale and lengthen your spine by extending your neck forward. Slowly exhale and reach your tailbone backward. Gently allow gravity to pull the weight of the torso down, feeling your back widening and expanding as this naturally happens. Breathe deeply and slowly as long as you feel comfortable (five to ten breaths) before, completely letting go and resting on the earth. When you’re ready to come out of the pose, inhale, bring your torso up slowly until in a seated kneeling position. Keep your eyes closed for a few breaths, before gently opening them to observe your connection with the earth
No one understands your connection to the outdoors more than Soltech, and now it’s never been easier to connect to nature with the Soltech Apparel Line. Use the code “reconnect” at checkout and receive 20% off, plus free shipping. It’s going to take your yoga practice to new places, on the map and in your spirit.