Being outdoors when you practice yoga has a lot of charms: the gentle breeze in your hair, warm sun on your face, feeling at one with nature. However there are a few distractions when your yoga class takes place outside! These can be anything from wildly varying temperatures, to curious passers-by or damp seeping through your mat.
Now, obviously I’m talking about yoga outdoors in the South West of Ireland. Practicing yoga in tropical countries has its own distractions but I’m not covering those here. This is for people thinking of joining me at one of my outdoor classes in Waterville, County Kerry and the surrounding area.
You can book onto one of my classes right now by clicking on one of the buttons below:
Relax and let go
Some practical tips will follow but the thing to accept is that yoga outside is different to a normal class. You might need to lower your expectations of what you will achieve physically, especially if you already go to yoga classes regularly. This is an opportunity to go easy on yourself and enjoy the experience of moving mindfully in nature.
In fact the same goes for complete beginners, try not to expect too much of yourself. There may be things you miss or don’t understand if it’s your first class, and that’s ok! Once outside, there’s a lot that’s beyond the control of you, and your teacher! Perhaps you can think of this kind of class as a practice in letting go and accepting uncertainty. That said I am very happy to answer questions either during or after the class!
In terms of practicalities, if you live here then you will know that layers of clothing are essential. This includes a showerproof one if possible! You may need sunscreen in the midday sun or spray for midges if practising early in the morning or in the early evening.
Underfoot, I recommend practicing barefoot directly on the sand or earth if you’re up to it. Mats tend to collect sand and flap around when you’re standing on them. They are rarely waterproof, and even on a sunny day in summer the ground may be damp. Once it comes to lying down and relaxing, if you have a waterproof blanket or a spare towel, that’s very handy to put underneath your mat.
As for the stares of passersby, I try to choose a time and place to minimise this distraction. However choosing an outdoor space is often a compromise between various factors and this is one that’s definitely beyond your teacher’s control. Hopefully as you get into your practice your awareness of the people around you will fade away and you will enjoy simply being in nature.