Summer is upon us! Blueberries, watermelon, long evenings and lazy days spent catching up on our reading list. These are just some of the reasons why we love this magical season. After what feels like a really long spell of cold weather, we are all eager for the 5 o’clock bell and that moment we step outside to a sun that is still shining.
There are plenty of activities we get to enjoy in the summer sun and Outdoor Yoga is definitely our favorite. We might be a little biased so we thought it would be a good idea to look into what makes it so great. As it turns out, it’s not just us lovin’ the benefits of an outdoor practice. We found plenty of reasons to get our mats outside! Here are our top five:
1) Vitamin D-lightful: Also known as the sunshine vitamin, it is a powerhouse vitamin that helps our body to fight disease, depression and aids us in our weight loss goals. And the best way to get it is from the sun. When you body is exposed to the sun, it will naturally produce vitamin D. Easy! Classes held in the late afternoon or evening are a good way to avoid the intense heat of the day and still enjoy the benefits!
2) Fresh Air: A large part of what we do on the mat is focused on pranayama – a powerful practice that can lift your mood or ground your concerns. And we’ve all been there, holding our Warrior 2 with intense focus and realizing we’re holding our breath too. But what is one of the first things we do when we step outside on a beautiful summer day? We take a deep breath of fresh air – you can’t help it! The simple act of being outside is all you need to automatically boost your pranayama practice and get your prana moving again.
3) Awaken the Senses: We’re used to practicing in familiar surrounding and sticking to our favorite class. The one that fits perfectly into our morning routine or evening commute. And while we do our best to keep it fresh from week to week, no studio can beat Mother Nature. Birds chirping away while the wind softly drags the scents of a new flower bed over to you…you’re not just practicing anymore. Now, with every part of you, you are experiencing.
4) Brain Health: Today, we take care of our brains as much as we take care of our bodies. Research shows that by embarking on new experiences, partaking in regular physical activities and keeping stress levels low, we are able to better protect our cognitive reserves well into our golden years. And by just being outside, the Environmental Health & Preventative Medicine Journal says we can lower cortisol levels and boost endorphin’s.
5) Letting Go: Out beyond the walls of our studio we are able to reach wider, stretch deeper and gaze further. As we do, we can begin to let go of the to-do list mode our brain can get stuck in. We change over into our sensory mode. In our sensory mode, we can be present while taking in our surroundings.
So get out of your comfort zone and learn to deal with an unknown or two – where the ground feels different and the wind kicks up at you while you’re balancing in vrksasana. See you on your mat