How To Do Yoga Outside Without Getting Super Distracted By Everything Around You
My absolute favorite part of the weather warming up is the opportunity to take my yoga practice outdoors and soak in all the Vitamin D. Doing sun salutations beneath the literal sun feels absolutely incredible and breathing in the fresh, warm air surrounding me. It makes me feel connected with nature in the most lovely way. However, if you've never taken your own mat out in the open, you might be wondering how to do yoga outside without getting profusely sweaty and sunburnt AF, or even worse: getting awkward, judgmental stares from people strolling past your makeshift outdoor studio.
I totally understand the concerns that come with transitioning outdoors; I used to be totally apprehensive about it, too. But I can assure you that the soul-nourishing benefits of flowing outside completely outweigh the potential drawbacks. In Sanskrit, yoga means union, and the unity that you'll feel when you connect with nature's beauty and intertwine yourself with all living beings will elevate your practice to a level that's simply unachievable indoors.
There will inevitably be bumps in the road during your outdoor flow, but here are six tips on how to stay super comfortable and focused when you decide to take your yoga practice outside.
1. Bring A Comfy Mat (That's Easy To Clean)
Girlfriend, I have nothing against nixing the mat and doing yoga barefoot in the grass, trust me. If that's your jam, go forth and conquer, by all means.
But, many people don't want to deal with the dirty feet and gras-stained hands, so that's where a heavy and comfortable mat comes in. You'll want your outdoor yoga mat to be heavy enough so it doesn't budge during a rouge gust of wind, and also padded enough that your joints will be happy if you decide to practice on concrete.
Pro-tip: If you still need a little more support, try folding the mat over itself when you're doing poses that put more pressure on your knees.
2. Dress For The Occasion
Flowy tanks and billowy pants are probably out of the question here, because you never know when the wind will decide to get frisky AF and you don't want to be giving strangers a show, know what I mean?
Opt for close-fitting leggings and tanks that will stay put and support you during the most pretzel-like of poses.
3. Consider Bringing Speakers With You
If you're getting your flow on at a local park, I'm not going to lie to you, the sounds of shrieking babies and whining toddlers might get a bit distracting.
Consider bringing your speakers along to put on some zen music that'll help you stay centered and grounded during your blissful nature-infused practice. And look at is this way: This is a great way to work on your ability to stay present, no matter the circumstances.
4. Seek Some Shade
Personally, I love practicing right beneath the beating sun and feeling like I'm turning into a human toaster strudel, but then again, I've been known to be mildly extra.
The sweatiness, eye glare, and potential sunburn that comes with an hour long yoga practice under the sun isn't exactly appealing to many yogis, so heading to a spot with full or partial shade will give you the best of both worlds during your outdoor flow.
5. Bring A Sweatshirt Or Two For Savasana
You might think I'm suggesting a cozy sweatshirt in case you get a little chilly during your flow, but I'm actually talking about assisting your end-of-practice savasana with a hoodie or two.
Whether you feel a bit self-conscious just lying down and meditating in the middle of a park or you're getting distracted by your surroundings while you're trying to rest in corpse pose, covering your eyes with a sweatshirt will be the cure, fam.
And the other hoodie? That's for making an awesome little pillow for your head. You're welcome.
6. Ignore The Haters
You're practicing yoga outside, and possibly in a public place, so gawking humans that stroll past your set-up are unfortunately part of the package. I've literally had a girl come up to me in Central Park and say, "why are you doing that? Yoga sucks". New Yorkers are truly special.
Try not to be too concerned about what others think; they're probably just jealous that they forgot their mat at home and can't roll out right alongside you to join in on the fun.
Do your thing, girl. You're killin' it.