Outdoor Yoga

Yoga Poses for Outdoor Fun

In a world where technology is king, it is vitally important to spend time away from screens and distractions and enjoy the peace and calm of the outdoors.

Nature is magical with all its subtle beauty and endless adventure. Its peaceful sounds have a way of making stress melt away. In the same way, a yoga practice can have a similar effect. When we are focused on the mat, intentionally breathing with calm and ease, nothing else seems to matter. When you take time to incorporate both the outdoors and yoga practice into your life, the mind and body benefit greatly.

Summer is a great time to incorporate nature into your daily life and enjoy all of your favorite outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy being on the water or pounding your feet on a hiking trail, yoga can help you get the most out of your experience.

Surfing

Water is unpredictable and constantly changing, whether you’re in the ocean or on a river. Being mindful and present is the only way to tackle the challenges that water will throw at you. In surfing, you have to be strong and committed, yet fluid and flexible. These skills are exactly what yoga teaches you to use on the mat.

Poses to Take from the Mat

In your yoga practice, work on Chaturanga to strengthen your pop-ups onto the surfboard. Baby Cobra will build muscle in your arms to enhance your paddling in the water, and Horse Pose will allow you to feel grounded and strong while you surf.

Hiking

Yoga engages and strengthens the entire body which is especially important when tackling the varying terrain of hiking trails. In addition, being able to control your breath is hugely beneficial when you’re faced with steep inclines on a trail. Deep, intentional breathing will help get you to the top without feeling so winded.

Hiking and yoga go hand-in-hand in that the outdoors benefit a meditative yoga practice. Surrounding yourself with the quietness of nature can relax the brain and senses, and you can tap back into that same peacefulness when you need to calm your thoughts on the mat.

Poses to Take from the Mat

Before you set out for your next hike, practice a few low lunges to help stretch and open your hip flexors. These muscles are hard at work when you hike, so you need to make sure you give them a nice warm-up beforehand. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend is another pose to add into your pre-hike routine. This pose is great for stretching the hamstrings, calves, glutes, back, chest and shoulders.

Kayaking

Kayaking is a water sport that relies heavily on a strong core. You can feel the push and pull on the abdominal muscles with every stroke. In yoga, you’re taught to focus on the core for stability to make each asana more powerful and engaged. You need this same type of stability for kayaking.

Poses to Take from the Mat

Side plank is a great asana to incorporate into your life and practice to strengthen both your core and arms. If your lower back feels fatigued and stiff from kayaking, try cobra pose to stretch your lower back muscles.

Being in nature will compliment your yoga practice just like time on the mat allows you to be more present outdoors. We hope these poses enhance all your fun outdoor activities this summer!

Looking for another way to enjoy nature? Take your practice outside with us during our Yoga in the Park summer series! Classes are held at Reuter Terrace in Pack Square Park on select Saturdays at 10am. These donation-based classes benefit local non-profits United Way and Homeward Bound.