The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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August 1, 2012

Taking yoga outside can change one’s attitude

Wednesday, August 1, 201 — My favorite way to practice yoga is in a class with nice people and a cool vibe. I love an educated, thoughtful teacher with a calming presence and voice. I love some gentle adjustments to help me deepen the poses or feel something new.

Sometimes I dig music and sometimes I prefer to practice to the sound of our breaths and the sweat dripping onto our mats. But to keep my practice fresh and mix it up a little, I like to take my yoga practice outside.

One of the reasons I added a deck to the back of my studio was because I want my students to experience what it feels like to get inside themselves in the postures while feeling, hearing and seeing nature. Simply getting quiet outside on a beautiful day can change your entire outlook about your life and its greater meaning.

Try this first in your own backyard or on your deck. Then as you become more comfortable with yourself and your yoga, begin to take your practice to other places. Take your mat to parks, hiking trails, fields, beaches or jump on a paddle board on a lake or in the ocean.

While on a break at work, search for a quiet space to break out a few yoga moves. You can just take a few poses that help you to release some stress or counter your repeated positions on the job. You will be so surprised at how much better you feel after.

Taking yoga or meditation outside is a way to bring more awareness to nature and the things that often get overlooked and taken for granted in everyday life. Feel the sun on every side of your body as you flow from pose to pose. Hear the sounds of birds, bugs, leaves, wind, cars, trucks and people talking. Become aware of the breeze in your face as you look to the sun and the earth.

There is nothing wrong with being a tree hugger and you will more than likely inspire some onlooker to try some yoga on their own, or at least appreciate something outside of their indoor box.


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