Yoga in itself is an independent activity – it is a moment of introspection and meditation – where we are able to withdraw ourselves to contemplate what is important for us. Yoga is such a powerful outlet for this introspection and connection with Self that it happens even in a crowded yoga class. When we close our eyes and envision what yoga means to us, many of us conjure images or feelings of peace, power, and presence. And while plenty of us practice regularly in a yoga studio, it’s beaches, mountains, parks and the little quiet corners of nature when our yoga can become the most sacred experience. Why is this? Why is there this strong connection between yoga and nature, this inherent draw and connection to the outdoors?
Here are 6 reasons why outdoor yoga is such a profound sensory and spiritual experience:
1. Nature is the Greatest Source of Prana
To be in nature is to be immersed in the greatest source of Prana, or life-force energy, that exists. Prana is connected to the Air element, thus naturally stimulating our entire system and awakening our senses. Our smell, sight, taste, hearing and kinesthetic abilities will tune immediately with the surroundings, merging our subtle bodies with the five elements. Through nature, we are able to tap into and active our life-force energy and in turn feel revitalized, grounded, and in alignment. In addition, studies have found that spending time outdoors improves our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
2. Outdoor Yoga = Immediate Grounding
As you focus your energies during your yoga practice in nature, you are literally grounding your root centers to the ground, an Earth element, releasing tension and other subtle forms of blockages. You are anchoring yourself and embodying your process of self-awareness. At the same time, you are opening your mind to receive guidance, creating a powerful circuit. Being grounded helps you feel more connected and in alignment with yourself, your feelings and emotions, and also helps you replace feelings of fear or anxiety with a sense of calm and well-being.
3. Tap into Cosmic Energy
When your body is warm and you feel the sunlight touching your skin during your practice, you will connect with the Fire element, activating your own Agni (or the cosmic fire of the universe) within. You will also connect with the Ether element, connecting you to Earth and Cosmic energy through your physical body. This pure Cosmic energy comes directly from the sun, helping you absorb the totality of your Self, being gradually downloaded into your genetics. This is one of the oldest purposes of practicing Sun Salutations.
4. Cleansing For Your Emotional Body
As you move through your outdoor yoga practice, several things happen: your senses tune with the surroundings, your Root Chakra becomes grounded, and your mind will become open and receptive. As a result, your Heart Chakra will open tremendously. Now that your Root and Heart Chakras are open, an ocean of emotions will be gradually released, memories will be cleansed by your meditation, insights will be given and your chest will be lightened so much that your spirit will be uplifted in your journey to self-realization.
5. Mental Clarity and Awareness
When you see the vastness of the horizon and the clouds in the sky, your mind will become very clear and sharp. Your lungs will be strengthened by your consistent practice. As you focus on your yoga poses, secondary thoughts and worries will fade or lose power, you will find solutions for your deeper questions, and a clear mental state will become a more regular part of your day.
6. The Highest Realization . . .
You will realize in wonder, with every ounce of your body, that you and nature are ONE!
Make Outdoor Yoga Part of Your Spiritual Pursuit
Obviously, taking your yoga practice outside is a powerful way to tap into yourself, your Self, and the healing, transformative powers of nature. Whether you’re looking for a healthy dose of the great outdoors, need to relieve stress, feel grounded, or get back to your roots (pun intended!), outdoor yoga is the recipe for transformation. Get outside, take a deep breath, and find your Perfect Pose!
Perfect Pose Retreats now feature outdoor yoga on all of our retreats (weather permitting).
Join us and find out what outdoor yoga can do for you.