June 21, 2012

Bring on the Solstice: Five Ways to Revel in Your Summer Yoga Practice.

Yoga on the Beach with Sinda

Finally, summer is here and every outdoor activity starts to sound like a liberating and glorifying experience.

Snap some pictures of yourself doing yoga in the great outdoors to keep you inspired in the Fall!

Summer is my favorite season to practice. For me, the limitations of where and when seem far less than they do in other seasons. Maybe it’s the lack of vitamin D that makes us flock outdoors, but that is no reason to let your practice go. Instead, now is the time to explore all the wonderful yogic events going on outdoors.

  1. Yoga in the Park—How much better can it get? Community, the great outdoors and lovely trees for shade will help to make the practice more than bearable. Not to mention what a lovely treat for your lungs as your pranayama practice takes on a whole new meaning when you’re not simply sharing the air of a contained space! I love to teach this every year. At the end the subtle breeze in savasana makes us all want to linger long after the practice is done! I offer this every summer so for more information on dates check in with me on my facebook page.
  2. Yoga Festivals—Kinda like Woodstock or an outdoor rave but with less drugs, though probably just as many tattoos. Friendly people looking to make connections with others and share in the devotion of kirtan, yoga and energy. I think this is a great way to feel more connected to your own practice.
  3. Yogic Retreats—Like yoga and kayaking (Laurie Nemetz offers great ones), yoga and surfing (try Shiva Rea) or maybe just take a trip up to Kripalu or Omega and get a little R & R for a closer quicker way to integrate yoga and vacation. I personally plan to yoga this summer with the Disney characters in Florida. Pictures to be posted should this plan work out!
  4. Yoga at the Beach—This one has both negatives and positives but if you time it right the positive can reign. The bright side: sun, scenery, ocean smell, melodic watery sounds. The downer: sand everywhere—and I do mean everywhere—unstable mat for balance postures… and I will offer that I’ve taught sunrise yoga before thinking the setting to be ideal. That being said, the sand closer to the water which might be slightly wet is a little firmer and allows for more stability. Unfortunately, this is also where the sand fleas flock and after many bites to our ankles some serious reconsideration was given to the timing of future Yoga on the Beach offerings. Lovely nonetheless!
  5. Heat, heat and more heat! What better way to get in touch with Agni (internal fire) and get your purification process on then to practice outdoors during the summer. India, where the yoga comes from, is hot. This helps to warm your muscles, excrete toxins from the skin (the body’s largest organ) and allows the body to be more pliable and open to postures that ask more flexibility out of our bodies. While I’m not a huge fan of bikram yoga and artificial heat, I’m all for the natural heat that comes from the sun.

So now it’s time to see what’s going on near you and take the opportunity to use your summer to spice up your yoga practice. Renew your love of the practice and stay on the yoga bandwagon during the season when many people fall off!

Do you have a favorite place you like to practice yoga each summer? Is there a festival that you just cannot miss, or a retreat that you’ve gone on you would love to share with others?

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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