Summer is here, and with it, some great weather and a barbeque, the occasional vacation, and many pool days under the sun. I mean, who could not like the summertime? Besides the fact that school is out, I always feel like the summer provides me with more time; the days are longer, which motivates me to get up earlier, and go to bed later. In my endeavors to be productive, I am always trying to find something new. A new game, a new activity, a new experience.
And this is why, this summer, I am challenging you. While you are always encouraged to try new and more difficult classes here at Drishtiq, this summer, I want you add to your usual practice by taking it outside. Whether in your backyard, at the park, or on the beach, expanding your horizons will only aid you on your yoga journey.
Get some friends together and meet at the park to greet the rising sun with sun salutations or bring your mat the next time you let the dog out. On vacation? Nothing can beat the calming rush of waves on an evening beach with your mat grounded in the soft, but firm sand. Perhaps you can even try taking your practice to a standing paddle board. All of these experiences provide a great opportunity for you to focus on you and what you need to improve and challenge your practice. This can include working on that really cool armstand you saw the lady next to you do during class, working on that pose you just can’t seem to get right or simply taking time to focus on your breath and meditation; challenging yourself will not only provide you with a great new experience but an increase in confidence as you let loose in the surrounding environment.
Research has shown that by taking your practice outdoors, the fresh air and the environment can help your nervous system eliminate stress and heighten your energy. Additionally, Yoga Journal notes that practicing outside can help your brain increase its awareness of your breath and of your mind, making it a more mindful experience. But besides all of this, I hope you find this opportunity as a really rewarding experience that expands your practice and challenges the edge of your yoga journey. Let me know if any of you take me up on this trial this summer. I’d love to hear about what you explored and experienced when I see you in the studio next!