Your lungs, brain, and skin will benefit from doing yoga outside. If you don’t want to use your mat for fear of ruining it then find a dry spot in the park, rooftop, pool deck, or wooden platform and get moving!
1. Improve Your Lung Capacity - (Mountain Pose/ Tadasana)
Your lungs have 6 liters of air capacity. Being outside will make you want to breath deeper, allowing more oxygen in. This breaks up any accumulated pollutants and toxins that are trapped in your alveoli due to habitual shallow Standing upright into Tadasana, your body has no limitation from other body parts and you are not curved (which can make it harder to take deep breaths).
In this “simple” pose your body is actually doing a lot; pressing the four corners of the feet, lifting the knee caps, bringing the ribs toward the spine, relaxing the shoulders and elongating. When all of these movements are done then you can breathe deeply. Get into Tadasana when you feel frustrated or confined and you will feel instantly better.
Tip: Counting helps, as well as being aware of your body with feeling your ribcage expanding on your inhale and deflating on your exhale.
2. Think Clear And Make The Right Decisions (Warrior Two/Virabhadrasana)
Being outside should make you feel happy, clear, attentive and emotionally balanced. Many studies show the positive impact of nature on our health and after many months being inside because of winter our body will benefit from being outdoors.
You will notice being outside will help you get a clearer mind and make the right decisions, feel happier and you might find yourself hopping and singing down the street, your stress level will be reduced which will reduce the cortisol excess that affects the brain. When you get in your “Warrior Two”, focus on a point; breathe in deeply and feel strong just like the name of the pose. Remember to keep you front knee at ninety degrees and tracking between the second and third toe. Relax those shoulders and press on the outside of your back foot to have more stability.
Being outside and standing on this external rotation standing position, your muscles are working but your mind is focused on everything that goes on and you will be able to let go of the stressful chatter in your spirit.
Tip: If it’s chilly and you’re not in the mood of doing 1 hour of outside yoga, just take a walk outside and maybe strike a pose that makes you feel powerful. Let your stress disappear for few seconds or sit down and do few minutes of meditation.
3. Love The Sun (Sun Salutation/Suriya Namaskara A)
Winters can be very cold, forcing you to bundle up with many layers, hat, gloves and scarves leaving only the eyes visible, unless you use sunglasses. It’s time to get rid of those layers and just wear your favorite yoga pants, a light shirt and get moving while enjoying the sun. Many Americans have a lack of Vitamin D because of the lack of sun exposure. This can cause health issues such as cancer, depression, and heart attacks.
Now that spring time is approaching get to the nearest park, on the roof top, pool deck or anywhere you are able to get kissed by the sun. By exposing your body to the sun, you will be able to absorb healthy amounts of vitamin D making your body healthier, strengthening your bones, reducing blood pressure and boosting the immune system.
Tips: Do a few sun salutations outside or if it’s still chilly and you practice at home, do it next to a window. Going through a few good combinations of poses will wake and warm up your body.