wheel pose on the beach

Five Ways to Take Your Yoga Practice Outside This Summer

Today, June 21, 2019, we celebrate the summer solstice—the longest day of the year. For the past few years, June 21 has marked another important day: the International Day of Yoga. So this year, to kick off the official start to summer (my favorite season) and the International Day of Yoga (my favorite practice), I am taking my practice outside and sharing exactly how you can do the same. After all, there is no better place to practice then the great outdoors. So if you’re ready to take your yoga practice out of the traditional studio setting, here are a few ways to take your yoga practice outside this summer.

Finding a moment of peace while meditating to the sound of the gentle waves in Hawaii.
Finding a moment of peace while meditating to the sound of the gentle waves in Hawaii.

Explore your own backyard

Roll your mat out on a stretch of flat land and reconnect with the wind as it tickles your face and the dirt as it inevitably climbs onto your mat. Take one day out of the week and instead of hitting your usual studio, stay home and practice in the sun. Just don’t forget to apply that SPF 15 (SPF 30 if you’re spectacular pasty white like yours truly).

Practice yoga everywhere you go

As an outdoor enthusiast and avid yogi, I flow everywhere I go. There is nothing like yoga in the wilderness or yoga on the beach at sunrise. Next time you summit a mountain, strike a pose at the top. Hitting the beach? Flow with the waves. Don’t forget to snap a couple photos while you’re at it. Your Instagram will thank you for it.

A little yoga while hiking through the Rocky Mountain National Forest feels great even during a snowy winter.

Yoga in the Park

A popular movement in cities across the country, yoga in the park offers yoga classes outdoors during the warmer months. Classes are usually donation based and furry friends are allowed to join in on the fun. We love that.

Yoga Festivals & Retreats

Register for a yoga festival or find an outdoor-based weekend or weeklong yoga retreat experience. As a yoga teacher and lifelong student, I cannot encourage festival and retreat experiences enough. There is nothing more centering then escaping your day-to-day schedule and reconnecting with your mind, body, and the nature that surrounds you. A few past and upcoming festivals: NOMADIC Yoga Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Telluride Yoga Festival in Telluride, Colorado, and the Wanderlust Yoga Festivals held in multiple cities.

Leah teaching at NOMADIC Yoga Festival (May 17, 2019).

Challenge your practice

Whether it’s biking, running, hiking or any outdoor activity in between, find a way to challenge yourself before you roll your mat out. My latest personal challenge: stand up paddle boarding. I threw yoga into the mix and the result was one of the most challenging yoga practices I have ever experienced. Yoga on even the subtlest waves pushed me to use muscles I didn’t even know I had.

Wheel pose on a paddle board.

The first time I took my practice outside, it was freeing. I realized that yoga does not have to be confined to the four walls of a studio. So today I encourage everyone to feel a little more free, a little more at peace by taking your practice into nature.

Don’t forget to check out my recently published article “Yoga — In the Studio & Beyond” in the 2019-20 edition of The Essential Guide ~ Santa Fe • Taos for more love yoga. Inspired? Interested in private yoga classes? Drop a comment below and let’s connect!

Until next time,

Leah Pinkus

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