5 Outdoor Yoga Poses To Try When The Weather’s Begging You To Bring Your Mat Outside
It's officially that time of year, guys. It's time to shed your winter coat (literally) and get your butt outside to soak in all the vitamin D. As a yoga teacher, the first signs of spring, for me, always mean it's time to take my mat outdoors and get my flow on in nature. Practicing some outdoor yoga poses is a great way to take your flow to the next level, because after all, there's nothing like the feeling of filling your lungs with fresh air, and moving your body while you're surrounded by the beauty of nature.
From the warm sunshine caressing your face, to the soft sounds of the wind swaying the plants around you, it's truly magical to enjoy an outdoor yoga practice when the weather finally starts to heat up after a long winter. And, look, technically speaking, all yoga poses can (and maybe even should) be done outdoors, but there are a few in particular that will make you feel especially grounded and connected to the glorious season that's approaching.
When the temperature begins to rise, and the snow starts to slowly melt away, embrace the change of season with these five revitalizing yoga poses.
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Mountain pose is an amazing asana that provides a grounding and balanced sensation within your body as you root your feet into the earth beneath you.
For Tadasana, I personally like to step off of my mat and feel the grass beneath my feet, so I can really embrace that sense of gratitude for the beautiful changes that nature has in store for us.
Take your time while you stand here in mountain pose. Tune in to the sounds and sensations that are taking place around you in nature. Close your eyes, and feel the warm rays of sunshine enveloping your body. Breathe in appreciation for your nurturing outdoor yoga practice, and as you breathe out, congratulate yourself for showing up on your mat today.
2. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Warrior III is a stabilizing yoga posture that requires true inner power and focus. This pose is perfect to take outdoors because it teaches you to embrace change in life with grace and poise, which is ideal for the gentle shift in seasons.
Find your Drishti — or non-moving object ahead of you to gaze at — to help you maintain stability, strength, and balance in warrior III. Remember to stay even with your breathing, even when the asana becomes difficult to hold. If you fall, simply get back up and try again. After all, yoga, much like the blooming plants around you, reminds us of the beauty that lies in growth and expansion.
3. High Lunge (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
High lunge increases energy, reduces fatigue, and will make a lovely addition to your outdoor yoga flow. Practicing this pose will get you out of your winter-weather funk, and allow you to open your heart to warmth, grace, and the subtle power that already lies inside of you.
Relax your shoulders, and raise your arms as straight as you can, reaching for the sky and beyond. Then, sink a bit deeper into your front knee, and bring a bit of a backbend into your high lunge. By opening up your chest here, you'll also unlock your heart chakra, which will allow you to welcome all of the beautiful, seasonal changes taking place around you.
4. High Lunge Twist (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)
Adding a high lunge twist into your outdoor sequence will rejuvenate your body and mind as you emerge from your wintertime hibernation (no shame, girl).
Parivrtta anjaneyasana also increases physical and mental balance, along with providing a strong sense of confidence, which can only be found in the blissful moments spent on your mat under the sun.
Broaden your collarbone and gaze upward towards the vast, expansive, baby blue sky. Allow yourself to be completely present in the midst of this gorgeous weather, and begin to release anything that doesn't serve you.
5. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
For mental and physical poise, practice the ultimate pose dedicated to mama nature — vrksasana. Tree pose improves your ability to focus and encourages your body to truly connect with nature by mimicking the soft, sweeping movements of the wooden branches on the trees surrounding you.
Start with your palms pressed to heart center. Consider extending your arms outward, and swaying like the blooming, pale-pink cherry blossoms on the tree branches above you. If you want to challenge your balance even more, close your eyes and take a moment to mentally turn inward.
Happy spring, little yogis!