Yoga, Tai Chi, or similar activities are unique exercises that have their origins in an ancient meditation practice. They are wonderfully relaxing, and beginners can easily pick up their simple, low-impact moves… no wonder they have become one of the most popular classes at any public gym or local community center!
One particular up-and-coming yoga trend one that everyone should try is outdoor yoga! The foundations and principles of yoga itself dictate a harmonious unity between mind and body, and between the self and the natural environment. Some yoga instructors organize their exercises after the elements with ‘water’ exercises being fluid and slow, and ‘air’ exercises focusing on calm breathing. In fact, some of the most well-known yoga moves are also modeled after nature, like the standing “Mountain” and “Tree” poses. With such a firm foundation in the natural world, what better way is there to commune with nature than to get right out in the midst of it? Shape.com, one of the premier sources for all fitness fans, gives us step-by step instructions for taking your floor mat exercises to the outdoors, and we think that’s a great plan. Here, we compiled a few of their points, with some additional advice!
Step 1. Invest in a Thicker Outdoor Exercise Mat
A lot of yoga mats are designed for indoor use on wooden gym floors, and are made of thin plastic or hemp. If you’re heading outdoors, you probably want a thicker rubber mat designed for the outdoors. This way, rocks and uneven surfaces won’t throw off your balance! Most recycled rubber mats are made from crumb tire rubber. This means the mats have the same life-span that tires do outdoors. Buying a recycled rubber floor means you can leave your outdoor exercise mat outside!
Step 2. Find the Perfect Location!
The perfect yoga spot is quiet and free from distractions. This allows you to really relax and get into the zone. Try a quiet shaded spot under a tree, or out on the warm sands of the beach! Wherever you choose, the most important matter is that you are at peace and comfort when carrying out you workout.
Step 3. Make Sure You have Outdoor Gear!
Sunblock and plenty of water are vital to any outdoor workout! Sunglasses are also helpful, depending on what time of day you choose to do your “Sun Salutations”! In addition to your rubber mat, it’s also good to bring a towel!
Step 4. Practice Slowly and Cautiously!
Moving to an outdoor environment can definitely be tricky at first. You may have only done yoga on a smooth, polished wood floor beforehand, so tackling those balancing moves on stones, sand, or grass can be tough. Always start slow in order to be safe!