Practicing Yoga Outside

I took my first outdoor yoga class last year, and in a big way! It was Dallas’ All Out Trinity festival, which included a one-hour yoga session on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, along with cycling events and a race. One side of the bridge was closed off for us yogis for an hour long flow with a view of our gorgeous Dallas skyline, that I remember of course included a bridge pose (because you know, we were on a bridge). A month later I attended my first Wanderlust 108 festival underneath the iconic Reunion Tower. After twice practicing yoga under the clouds, sunshine (when the sun came out) and downtown views, I was hooked.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Dallas skyline

These were special events, sure, but that doesn’t mean there are no more outdoor offerings around. As the weather warms and the sun clears, I only have to look to find more opportunities. Just be sure to remember the sunscreen and the water!

What I like about practicing outside

I feel more energized – more at peace – after practicing outside. I think that comes from practicing under the sunshine and clear blue skies, it’s the music provided courtesy of the wind in the trees and the early morning birds singing from the branches. And the breeze providing music delivers a cooling effect when flowing in the sun, especially those spring and fall early mornings. I love being outside, so it’s even more rewarding to combine my practice in a natural studio.

The freshness of breathing outside in a park reminds me of my appreciation for pranayama, for breath work. And because I am taking deep breaths, and want to take more deep breaths to enjoy that freshness, it seems to make matching my breath to the flow a little easier.

Finding outside practices

Your studio, especially if it’s near a park, may offer outdoor classes in warmer weather, and is a great place to start looking for other festivals or events. This summer I’m excited about The Mat’s offering of Hiking Yoga, giving me another opportunity to take class outside. We’ll get to hike a North Dallas nature preserve and practice a yoga surrounded by trees and greenery, and have a chance to get to know other studio-goers.

Another great option is to check out nearby park management and city government social media feeds for events. In Dallas, I’ve seen that Klyde Warren Park offers yoga on the weekends (while I have to admit I haven’t been down to the park one early morning for yoga, I’ve set a new goal for myself this summer). I’ve also seen Facebook events for nearby weekend yoga sessions in downtown city squares and parks. Some of these may only be about once a month, but it can offer a nice change from an otherwise normal routine. Not only do events like this offer that ability to be outside and practice, but also some gorgeous and unique views.

Backyard practice while on vacation

Festivals

Then there are the festivals. Yoga was again offered at the 2017 All Out Trinity, so I know I’ll be looking out for next year’s festival. And Wanderlust 108 is coming through Dallas again. I would definitely have considered a weekend road trip to Austin or Houston to visit – yoga, nature and a road trip sounds like a great summer weekend to me! One friend and I have even talked about meeting up for a weekend away at another Wanderlust festival, so a festival could be a good way to generate vacation ideas. While Wanderlust 108 travels all over the country, there could be even more local festivals to turn up with a quick online search. And as I mentioned above, your studio may have information on other upcoming events, so definitely circle back to your teachers.

Along with practicing outside, one thing I love so much about festivals is the energy! The people going to the festivals are so excited to be there, and are warm, friendly and so supportive. Last year’s festivals brought home to me just how wonderful is this yoga community, and as I’ve grown in my practice and met new yogis, I’m really looking forward to this year.

Have you taken your practice outside? What were some things you enjoyed about it?

This is the part of a series of posts for The Mat yoga studio, sharing my thoughts and observations as a student only – I am not an instructor and do not have a teaching certification. The views and opinions are my own.

Patricia

After over a decade living away from Texas, Patricia recently returned to the Lone Star State. She's a writer, amateur photographer and traveler.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *