Where better to focus on breathing, stretching, reaching and grounding yourself then in the great outdoors. At least monthly, we find a tranquil location with amazing views, fresh air, and ambiance to help you relax and enjoy yourself. Beaches, parks, and on the water all make for great times time take in nature, put your mind at ease and release tension and stress. Some of our participants even prefer the outdoor classes for several of the reasons research and studios have illustrated below:
1. Spending time in nature can replenish depleted energy.
Our nervous system evolved in a way that punctuates moments of stress with bursts of energy—a survival tactic used when we were part of the hunter-gatherer community. Spending time outside sends signals to the brain that the body is back in its native environment and recalibrates itself to stay alert.
2. Natural scenery can heighten awareness.
When you leave the four walls of a studio, all of your senses wake up—scent, sight, and touch, in particular, activate parts of the brain that make you more present. Touching grass or a sandy beach further provides stimulation. As we become more fluent in processing a sensory experience it morphs into a sensuous experience that shuts off the list-making part of our brain and zeros in on the now.
3. Practicing yoga in a new environment can build confidence.
Practicing outside for the first time can feel awkward. It is easy to feel self-conscious when you’re used to practicing alone or in a private environment. While familiarity brings security, stepping outside your comfort zone opens a gateway to an entirely new interpretation of your yoga practice. Imagine the power of sun salutations under actual sunrays or the vivacity of a tree pose while focusing on a real tree instead of a spot on the wall. There could always be a random person walking by and inevitably they glance over at a class of yoga practitioners. I assure you, they are not judging, they are thinking " I want to do that."
4. The outdoors can further boost meditation’s benefits.
Scientists have found that people who were exposed to a forest environment versus an urban environment had a lower concentration of the stress hormone cortisol. Scientists have already shown that those who meditate on a regular basis have a smaller amygdala, the part of the brain that is responsible for managing the fight-or-flight response.