I have been thinking of returning to teaching my public yoga classes but seem to be struggling with the obvious concerns that I, and my students will have. This has led to a shift in approach. I have been considering yoga outside, I have taught outside on occasion and always enjoyed the experience and derived huge satisfaction from the enjoyment that is evident with the participants.
So why is yoga outside so good? Besides the benefit of simply breathing in fresh air and loading up on vitamin D, there are some quite compelling reasons:
It's easy to get stuck in a routine and taking yoga outside helps get you out of that rut. Yoga on the grass really challenges your balance and concentration, taking it up a level. You can run through your regular class and you will have an entirely different experience, from the grounding foundation you can achieve, which is more organic and sensuous, to the different muscles that are engaged when moving through the flows and hence new neural pathways being developed.
You feel more connected to nature and you are… whether this is the birdsong whilst you are holding the postures, or a gentle breeze on the skin when the leaves in the trees start to dance, you can really mindfully engage in the class, and it feels so natural. Granted, there may be the occasional bug that decides to check you out but this adds to the experience, and tests your powers of focus!
There’s plenty of space and let’s face it, space will be needed which is why indoor classes will be smaller and possibly more expensive. My intention is to bring more people into yoga and ‘outside’ works really well. The class can arrange themselves any way they want and not get too close to their neighbour which can happen indoors.
You will feel more engaged with the class and you fellow students. Yes, it might be a bit different being outside and we might feel a little self-conscious at first but once the class starts and you can engage with the beautiful poetry of bodies moving in sync., you feel connected and absorbed within. A bus could drive by and you wont care, you are in the moment and with nature, and I guarantee the people on the bust would rather change places!
The relaxation at the end is incredible. Whether lying or sitting, you can really connect with the sensations across your body, your connection with the earth, the temperature across the skin and the sounds that occur and focus your mind. Truly incredible.
If any of this sounds interesting, I will be updating this website with details of the classes, locations, and timings in due course.