Practicing yoga is a great way to reconnect with yourself and get back in tune with the world around you. If you spend most of your day crouching in front of a computer, you can even use yoga to reconnect with nature.
Practicing outdoor yoga gives you the opportunity to breathe some fresh air and remember how it feels to put your feet back on the ground. Are you looking for a way to get more out of your yoga practice, to connect more deeply? Here are some of our guides on how to connect with nature through yoga.
Let nature inspire your practice
There is a reason why nature has inspired great works of art, music and passion over the millennia. Nature is inspiring, but it can be hard to remember when you interact with it a little bit every day.
Instead of forgetting the admiration that nature can inspire, let it shape your practice. Make your practice your focus and emotions on nature, and you will find that this outward thinking will help you reconnect with your mind and body.
Think about the time of day you love the most. For some of us, this is the sunrise. Although we are usually asleep or in our vehicles going to work, we still love this time of day. For others, it may be sunset or dusk.
Whatever time of day naturally fills you with the most awareness of the sun and the natural environment, try to focus your practice on that moment. Watching sunrise or sunset in your practice is a great way to book your day back and reconnect with nature.
Don’t just use your time to help dictate part of your practice. Is there a place where you feel safe or inspired? Look for a place for your practice where you preferably don’t have many other distractions.
Turn off technology
When we are at home or in a studio, we often use soothing, meditative music. It helps us to distract our minds from the stress of the world around us and to focus our practice. We can turn off all other noises and stimuli and listen to the music and ourselves.
While music or other soothing sounds can help you at home, we suggest that you leave it out when practicing yoga outdoors. Instead, listen to the sounds of the world around you. It participates with the sound of the wind and the movement of the fauna, even if they are small noises.
The wild and yet also patterned design of nature can help us open our eyes to these same traits within ourselves. It is useful to start your practice in a more neutral position and tune in to all this, focusing your attention on nature and its presence.
Then turn your attention back to yourself and find the comparisons between your emotions and stillness and the continuous movement and peace of nature.
Flow with natural yoga postures
Many yoga poses are called animals or geological formations. The names themselves are intended to connect the yogi with his practice. However, it is easy for us to get past the names, even though each name is full of intentions.
As you practice your outdoor yoga practice, pay more attention to the names of the positions you move. Use positions that invoke the way you want to reconnect with nature.
For example, are you looking for a practice that will help you feel rooted in the earth? Or do you want postures that help you feel wild and free again?
Greetings to the Sun (Surya Namaskar)
The greeting to the sun is a sequence of flow that most of us know instead of a single movement. It is often a series of twelve integrated movements that are destined to be gracefully linked to the asanas. Greeting in the sun is a means of honoring the sun and is well suited to practices at the beginning or end of the day.
Even when you do the sun salutation sequence in the middle of the day, you can connect with the sun and the sky above. Look at it clouds and pay attention to the colors around you as you bring your mind out.
Mountain posture (Tadasana)
The mountain posture was named after the strength and foundation it wants to give to your practice. It should help you feel stable, unbreakable in the face of adversity. Although it may seem like you’re just standing there, doing it on purpose can have great health benefits.
The mountain posture gives you the opportunity to lift your shoulders and stay high, improving your posture. It also tightens the core and can even relieve some sciatica symptoms. You can use it as an initial or final resting posture.
Either way, you should focus carefully on how your body is positioned in relation to the world around you and how your feet touch the ground. Imagine merging with the earth like a mountain and feeling this extension of connection.
Tree posture (Vriksasana)
Another ground posture is the tree posture. It is more active than mountain posture, working balance and concentration. It requires you to be as firm and unbreakable as a tree to stay stable. Doing this posture outdoors can help you get into the mindset of a tree. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.
When standing in a tree position, consider both the ground and the sky. As your “roots” reach deep into the ground, giving you balance and stability, your arms like branches approach the sky.
Pose of the eagle (Garudasana)
The eagle posture can land you and connect you with your inner flight. During your time in this position, stay completely focused, as it requires a bit of balance. The posture makes you lean to your knees as you turn your arms and legs toward each other.
During the moments when you have the posture, it will help you to feel rooted and in control of all the parts of your body as long as you stay strong to control it. Freedom comes in liberation. As you unwind your arms and then your legs and blood flow freely again, you will often feel a feeling of lightness.
Pose of the corpse (Savasana)
The posture of the corpse may not have such a naturally pleasing name. However, it is a way to get on the ground completely, connecting more to the ground than any other posture. In addition, putting on savasana gives you the opportunity to decompress.
Many people think that this posture is more like taking a nap than active yoga. However, it is said to be one of the easiest to do but the most difficult to master. This is because not only your body should be still but also your mind.
Only in these moments of peace can your mind let go of what you feel physically and feel truly connected to what surrounds you.
Getting ready to practice in nature is as important as choosing the right place, time, and position. Going barefoot is one of the best ways to reconnect with nature on a very physical level.
Keeping your feet bare allows you to sink your toes into dirt and grass as you stand on the ground with the natural world around you. It also means less restraint on clothing, so blood can move more easily from the floor to the rest of the body.
If you decide to go barefoot, do it with some caution, especially if you are not used to going barefoot. Look around to find anything sharp, such as stones or metal, before taking off your shoes.
Once cleaned, pay attention to how your feet interact with the ground beneath you. Whenever you find that your attention is moving away from your practice or nature, turn your attention back to your connection to the earth.
Watch your breath
Finally, one of the best ways to stay in tune with yourself and your surroundings is to work on your breathing. Breathing has a lot of power in any practice. It helps you focus both inward and outward. With each inhalation, direct your mind to your position in nature, your impact on your space. With each exhalation, consider the world around you and your connection to everything.
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