One of the biggest things that changed the way I approached my yoga practice was by starting a regular routine of doing it outdoors. Living in a cold city like London, this was a challenge… and to be honest, I was starting to crave the connection to nature.
Coming to Barcelona and seeing how popular outdoor yoga is here (and in other cities), I realized that this was the very thing that was missing in my practice. And it certainly did add a new dimension to how I appreciated yoga as a whole practice. Let me share some reflections on this with you 🙂
5 Ways Outdoor Yoga Will Deepen Your Practice
Tune in within, in any environment…
I love doing yoga at home or in my local yoga center… it always provides a warm energy space where I don’t need to focus on what is going on around me, I can just be. And I am then able to let go and go within.
The I started taking my personal yoga sessions outside and it wasn’t long before I discovered that this gave me space to interact with everything around me too, while tuning in.
It’s the most subtle of things that suddenly came to life – such as the warmth of the sun, the changes in temperature as the session goes on, the sounds of the people walking past… and then tuning in to see how my energy interacts with this.
Reflection Question: How do you adapt to changes in your environment (in life and in your yoga practice)?
Get connected to the seasons fully…
Yoga is so much more than just a physical activity. It is a lifestyle that provides us with all the tools we need to lead a whole experience. One of the key things that I love exploring is my connection to the seasons – through the colors, the Chakras, the foods in season and through my outdoor yoga too.
Barcelona is one of those cities that I feel really enjoys the seasons fully – this is reflected generally in the vibrant outdoor lifestyle of the people who live here. And it makes it such a joy to be able to experience the seasons (and the way I connect with each one) through my outdoor sessions.
Even in Winter, it may not be as cold as other cities in Europe, but you still feel the contrast of warmth from the sun and the season’s natural colder temperatures. This contrast in itself adds awareness to my yoga and meditation practice.
I also began to see where my resistance was in my daily life – and how the seasons changed this. I confess that colder seasons used to effect my moods (lack of light, colder temperatures, more clothing etc)… It was only when I started to realize how each season had it’s own energy, then I also started to really look forward to the seasonal changes. The biggest shifts of energy is during the beginning of Spring and Autumn Equinox times – and this effects our energy system on SO many levels (maybe I will do a blog post on this!). Bringing awareness to my sessions allows me to tune in to those changes deeply.
Reflection Question: How does each season affect your emotions, body, mind and yoga practice?
Ground your energy…
So many of us are stuck in our head space and upper Chakras… but never in the present moment. We are bombarded with things that stimulate our mind, we lead hectic lifestyles where we are planning things all the time, plus technology adds to this.
The simple act of taking off your shoes, planting them deep into the earth and being surrounded by nature can change everything… it helps balance our energy and brings all that wonderful upper chakra energy downwards. We can then be more present, more in our neutral meditative mind, bring more observation into our energy, our body and our surroundings.
Reflection Question: How grounded do you feel on a scale of 1-10 (1 being least, 10 being most) before and after your yoga session?
Share this space with others…
This can be something that you can do alone – It can also be a wonderful opportunity to share this energy with others (people you know or with new friends). This is a way of not just connecting deeply with your Self, but also being open to the connection with others.
Reflection Question: How is your connection to your Self reflected in your external connections with people you know?
Challenge your Self to discover more…
This is a huge opportunity… to explore. Explore the city, explore whether you prefer to be on different surfaces, whether you connect more to the beach or the park, how you change with different spaces, how you adapt to changes as you do your session, how other people in your space (which we don’t always control, like being at home or at the yoga center) change the energy, how the time of the day changes your energy levels… the list goes on! Outdoor yoga is so special because of this.
Barcelona has so many different nature settings to choose from, all within short distance – The beaches, the rocks, the mountains, the parks, the terraces and rooftops etc. Your pick! Explore Barcelona 🙂