However short or simple your yoga practice is, taking it outdoors or close to nature can provide huge benefits. In Western cultures, we tend to associate yoga with the poses we do in a studio, but recently many teachers have found powerful ways to layer yoga with mindful moments outdoors.
Studies repeatedly show that being in nature has many benefits, from increasing the activity of cancer-fighting cells to lowering blood pressure and lowering cortisol levels. According to a 2012 study, memory and attention span increase by 20 percent after being outside for two hours or longer.
Urbanization is associated with increased levels of mental illness. Thanks to our sedentary, technology over-loaded lifestyles, we’ve become increasingly disconnected from the natural world. Going for a walk with a neighbour or taking the kids to the park competes with other tasks on our to-do-lists.
Yoga teaches us that we are connected to the world around us rather than separate from it. The trees breathe in as we breathe out. We are part of the photosynthesis process! Forest bathing is the newest wellness trend to be imported to the UK from Japan.
Outdoor enthusiasts can connect with nature in a powerful way through yoga. Going through a big transition or something stressful? Practicing yoga outdoors is nature’s prescription to cultivate more calm in your life. Get out there and breathe. Just sit and take some full yogic breaths, walk and breathe rhythmically with your steps, throw a few shapes, get your hands dirty, kick off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your feet, pull off some sun salutations in your local park or do a handstand against a tree.
Sprite Yogas classes at Beechwood Hall in Cooksbridge benefit from the luxury of the great outdoors. In fine weather we take our practice outside and soak up the Sussex countryside. This class is on a drop in basis so come along on a sunny day and join the outdoor fun.
Tamsin will be hosting two events
at the Bolney Winery 21st August and 11th September. You’ll have chance to take a mindful walk in the Vineyards and appreciate the beautiful Sussex countryside and the vines fully laden with delicious fruit. See the events tab on the website for details of how to book.