Yoga is great for the body and mind! It improves flexibility, builds muscle, perfects posture, increases blood flow, and lowers your blood pressure, all while relaxing you! Doing yoga outside has double the benefits with fresh air and natural surroundings! So what are you waiting for? Channel your inner yogi and do some outdoor yoga!
Why Do Yoga Outside?
Studies have found that doing yoga outside is even more beneficial than doing it inside. Just being outside can help increase your mood and energy by breathing in the fresh air and absorbing natural sunlight. The uneven surfaces of the outdoors will help you improve your balance. Since you’re using more small-muscle groups to help keep you balanced on an uneven surface, you’re building up muscles that wouldn’t otherwise be worked in a studio. The relaxing or soothing music you may currently listen to while doing yoga in a studio doesn’t even compare to the natural sounds you’ll hear when doing outdoor yoga. Birds, the breeze, or waves create a relaxing and stimulating environment perfect for yoga all at the same time.
Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners
If you already do yoga, you probably have a routine with favorite poses. But if you’re just starting out, then you’ll want to know some basic poses.
The downward dog helps to energize you and rejuvenate your whole body. You’ll be stretching your legs, hands, feet, shoulders, and spine. It can help relieve headaches, help you sleep, and even lift slight depression! Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Lift your knees off the floor and bring yourself up on your toes, with hands still flat on the floor. You should be in the shape of an upside down V. Lift your rear and stretch as much as you can, pushing away from the floor with both your hands and your feet. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds and then lower back to the starting position.
The tree pose will stretch your thighs, torso, and shoulders while building strength in the ankles and calves and toning your abs! This pose is great for balance and coordination so if you are clumsy, this is a good one for you! Stand with your feet together and arms at your side. Balancing on your left foot, bend your right knee, bringing your right foot up just above the inner left knee. Bring your hands to your chest in prayer position and straighten your spine. Press your foot into your thigh, and your thigh into your foot. Hold this pose for up to one minute.
This pose is great for building your core and gaining strength in your lower body and spine. Not only does this help build up your body, but it stimulates the endocrine and nervous system. Lay on your back on the ground, knees bent with your heels close to your buttock and hands at your side. Pressing your feet and arms into the floor, raise your tailbone off the floor. To help keep your shoulders pressed down, bring your hands under you and clasp them together. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
This is another great pose for building strength as it engages every part of your body. While standing, place your feet about 3 feet apart with your right toes pointing to the right and left toes pointing inward slightly. With your arm out, inhale and bend down toward the floor with your right arm down and left arm straight up, looking up at your left hand. Hold this position for about 3-6 breaths and then return to the standing position with your arms out. Repeat on the opposite side.
This is one of the most well-known and relaxing positions in yoga. It’s a great resting position and is very beneficial! It will release tension in your back, shoulders, and chest and stretches your hips, thighs, and ankles. If you’re stressed or anxious, this will help alleviate both and also helps to calm the mind. Begin in a kneeling position and lower your buttocks to your heels while bringing your hands out in front of you and your forehead to the floor. Stretch your body toward the tips of your fingers and hold for as long as you want!
These are just some beginner moves you can start with. If you’re feeling adventurous, go online or more yoga poses to try. Do you practice yoga? What are some of your favorite poses that we didn’t mention here? Tell us in the comments!