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Outdoor Yoga Exercises and Its Benefits
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Yoga is all about being one or part with nature. Hence, doing yoga exercises in the outdoor is one of the best ways to truly experience the benefits of yoga.
Benefits of Doing Yoga in the Outdoors
Practice of yoga must not be constricted solely within the yoga studio and a practitioner must learn to develop exercises done on the outdoors. When exposed to the natural environment, you recognize your role as part of the bigger universe. This is what experts believe to be the main component in each yoga practice. So, experts encourage students to practice yoga on the outside and deviate from regular classes done on yoga studios. It is also for the same reason and benefits that yoga retreats are mostly held in outdoor environments that enable one to get close to nature.
When you perform yoga and meditation on the outdoors, it opens up various sensations in your internal self and unfold them. There are different types of exercises that you can perform on the outdoors, depending on the specific sensual impact that you want to achieve.
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Finding the Best Spot
When doing outdoor yoga, it is important that you choose properly the outdoor location where you perform these exercises in. There is no need to go to an exotic location just to achieve this; in fact, you can possibly perform your yoga routine in your backyard, provided that it is free off any noise or physical distractions.
If you live in an area where there is a stream or on a foothill, you can head on over there and start your yoga routine. Whatever your choice of location is, it has to be something that produce positive vibes and inspire your practice. Your goal is basically to choose a location that promotes internal harmony and peace.
Slow is Best in the Outdoors
The idea of performing yoga close to nature is a very relaxing experience. Therefore, learn to enjoy the slow pace of the practice instead of engaging in intensive and fast paced exercises. Breathing exercises such as ujjayi breaths will help to establish that relaxing sensation inside your body and establish a rhythm with the gentle sounds of nature.
In addition, avoid stressing out on the amount of exercises you can incorporate into a single outdoor yoga session. Learn to merely let the sequence unfold on its own and provide more emphasis on the precise execution of each move. After all, you have to utilize these exercises as a means to direct the flow of energy in and out of your body.
Four Basic Outdoor Yoga Exercises
There are four basic outdoor exercises that yoga practitioners can adapt to incorporate the different elements of nature into your outdoor session. Each exercise and the elements of nature they represent have its corresponding impact on the physical and spiritual body. Hence, putting them together into each session is a great way to experience multitude of benefits.
Earth exercises help to provide a grounding effect on your physical and spiritual body, which helps add more stability into your yoga practice. Meanwhile, wind exercises represent your ability to achieve freedom and self expression so you can continually nourish your body. Fire exercises give you strength, power, and zest in life to continually forge ahead your goals. And lastly, water exercises is the closing in a series of exercises due to its calming and soothing effect, which has exceeded past your physical body but affects your spiritual body.
These outdoor yoga exercises are ideal to bring back balance in your physical and spiritual body due to the massive amount of stress that one has to deal with on a regular basis. Since this is an earth exercise, you have to deal with various physical factors connected to the Earth, such as uneven terrain, presence of rocks or uneven surface, which can be painful against the foot. It is therefore a test of your ability to overcome these physical barriers and focus on the practice itself.
The most basic position to begin with is that of a Mountain Pose. Then, raise your hand up across toward your chest to assume a prayer position. Try to feel the energy around you and the immediate environment and imagine it as a visual image. If you feel any form of anxiety or tension building up, work on eliminating them.
With both your feet and heels remaining firm on the ground, extend both your arms upward. Slowly and with your arms raised still, bend over onto one side of your body to give it a stretching action. While performing these exercises, make sure to incorporate it with slow and rhythmic breathing patterns. To gain optimum benefits through this exercise, you can opt to do this one bare foot to feel the earth against your feet.
Wind and air has always been a symbol of life for humans. Thus, practicing wind yoga exercises provide the nourishment that the body needs to stay healthy and maintain life. Wind symbolize freedom and self expression, thus you can optimize those results by incorporating proper breathing techniques into your exercises.
Begin on a Mountain Pose and spread your feet about shoulder width apart. Twist your spine by slowly twisting your upper body. Make sure to gently do the twisting to avoid straining your spine. In one full twisting rotation, begin your inhalation. Exhale upon the release of the twisting action. Perform the series of twisting action for at least 20 repetition so you can get best results. After completing the series of rotations, bring your heels together and let both arms naturally rest on either sides of the body.
These exercises are done in order to gain strength and power. You can choose an outdoor area where you can feel the warmth of the sun and providing you with the energy to last you for the day.
Starting on a Mountain Pose, move onto a Chair Pose, which is like sitting on the air. Bend your knees to lower your buttocks while you bring your arms up in the air. Make sure your ankles are properly aligned and stay in position while performing at least 5 breaths. Then, return to your starting position. You must then assume a forward fold pose as you exhale. Transition into a Downward Facing Dog Pose and hold yourself in position for as long as possible to produce body heat.
The element of water represent rejuvenation and a calming effect on the body. As you practice this exercise outdoors, feel the elements of nature like a tide washing through your body and let it soothe your entire body. During meditation, imagine the qualities of water to bring about an inner sense of calmness.
From a standing position with both heels and toes together, try to achieve a state of perfect balance. Let your hands assume a prayer position. Then, slowly lift it up over your head and release both hands to mimic the stance of a breaststroke. Perform a sweeping motion with your hands and continue doing this for 10 to 20 repetitions. To enhance the benefits of performing outdoor yoga, couple it with meditation and feel the elements.