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  • Writer's pictureAtsuko

Yoga Beyond Walls: Embracing Nature in Your Practice

I have been a yoga teacher and practitioner for nearly three decades, but only last year I discovered the joy of yoga outside.


The reason why I was not a fan of outside yoga was mostly technical. I am very particular about correct alignments, so doing yoga on uneven surfaces was not satisfactory, or even unsafe. Also when I practise on my own, I use a wall for handstand and also some props (yoga block, yoga belt etc), so outside yoga was not practical for me.


Also of course we have this British weather to consider.  How many days a year do we have when the sky is blue , the air is warm and the grass is dry? 


So for a very long time, I stubbornly refused to do yoga outside, despite having a large garden, and living by the beach. But I moved house 3 years ago and now I have no garden, and suddenly decided to do yoga outside!


As I don’t have my own private space, I go to the village green opposite my house which is next to a primary school. In order to avoid the kids and parents, I need to start early and finish my practice soon after 8am.


And it is glorious! The short window of practice between sunrise and school run is almost magical, and it gives me perfect motivation to get outside as soon as I’m ready. Being a lifelong night owl, I had never appreciated the tranquil beauty of morning, with quiet excitement of anticipation for the day ahead.


I love looking up during sun salutations and seeing the sky above. I cherish savasana while listening to the birdsong. I even appreciate the slightly damp yoga mat, which oddly makes my hands and feet grip better.


Once I started, I fell in love immediately. Never mind the alignment, never mind the handstand against the wall! Yoga is not all about technique or making progress. 


Yoga is about being there. Enjoying each movement. Enjoying each posture. 


And this summer I am teaching Park Yoga. It is a completely different setting, and it won’t be so tranquil and peaceful. But it will be lovely to be part of the communal yoga practice out in the open. 


It is not about fine tuning your alignment or learning challenging postures. It is about enjoying and celebrating this great gift of yoga and sharing with others. I will enjoy it!


P.S.

I did my first Park Yoga teaching last week. It began to drizzle as we started…. But so many people turned up from all directions!  We started with standing poses without mats with shoes on, but soon it stopped raining and we managed the second half of the class on the mat. We even managed savasana!  It was fantastic.




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