If you are nature lover like me, you will definitely love taking yoga outdoors! Similar to running, most of us would choose to do it outdoor especially if you have a park near your home. Running on a track mill in a gym and plucking your headphones on is also similar of visiting a yoga studio attending a class where the teacher will try to create that atmosphere with gentle light and soothing music. We can also start embracing this nature that is always there and already set out for us to touch & feel.
Imagine rolling out a mat on that green grass patch, tiny insects and birds chirping and that warm sun shining upon your face and most amazingly breathing in that fresh air! Of course, this is the best setting of practicing in a garden which I will try to go for it whenever I get the chance. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of space here in Singapore so there might not be any park of walking distance from home. Majority of us, including me would still choose to practice at home or visit a studio for the convenience.
A few tips here to take note that I had experienced when I practice at the Singapore Botanical Garden:
1) Need a mat? Yes, it will be ideal to bring along a light weight travel mat. A light weight mat will be easier for you to carry around and since it is outdoor, so you are either rolling out the mat onto the earth literally, like grass patch or on a sandy beach. Unlike, the usual floorings where a thicker mat is preferred.
2) Sunscreen! Remember being in nature or outdoor places would mean exposing yourself in a vast open space where the sun will naturally fill the space. It is advisable to check out the weather first and have alternative sheltered area to switch to in case of sudden climate change.
3) The usual basics, a water bottle and towel. Towel is most useful here for outdoor not just wiping out your own sweat but you might also need it to clear some debris on the mat like fallen leaves, the soil or sand that might get got onto it.
Some of the classic yoga poses are named after animals and while taking the practice outdoor, we are like the animals (us) being back to the nature. We could do a Cow Pose, a Crow Pose and be that mighty King Pigeon! Yoga teachers or students like us would often love to hear instructions such as bringing your arms up to the sky or melting your body onto the earth. Feeling the warm sun with some gentle breeze blowing through or listening to the natural music of the birds chirping or sea waves are a total blessing to be in present. Present to this moment, grounding down appreciating the surrounding while in practice. Perhaps a good doze of Vitamin D is all you need to just get outside.
Be a little hippie and start planning now, yogis! (PS: feel free to ask me along please!!)
Priscilla Wang – Sep’17 YTT