Now that the warmer weather is here, you have the opportunity to take your private yoga session outside or sign up for an outdoor yoga class at a local studio. In addition to being a great way to shake things up in your practice, getting outside and immersing yourself in nature might even help you reach that deeper state of meditative calm.
Practicing outside, however, can be a completely different experience compared to practicing indoors. So before you head out to a private place in the woods or to a class in the park, make sure you do the following.
Hydrate Before, During, and After
When the temperatures are hot and the sun is shining, you’ll want to make sure you’re hydrated well before you get out to do your yoga. Depending on how intense your session is going to be and how hot the weather is, you may need to drink as many as two cups of water two hours before you start. Bring a reusable water bottle with you and keep it nearby so you can drink up when you rest and when you’ve completed your practice.
Dress for the Weather
In some cases, what you regularly wear for your indoor practice can work well for your outdoor practice. Sometimes, however, the weather can be deceiving. Practicing near water when there’s a strong wind can make it seem colder than it really is, or practicing in an unshaded area when there’s barely any breeze can make it seem hotter than it really is. Your best bet may be to dress in layers and consider bringing along a hat and sunglasses as well.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Even when it’s overcast, there’s still a risk of sunburn. Likewise, practicing under a shaded area doesn’t guarantee that you’ll avoid sunburn since the sunlight can still reflect from other surfaces and reach your skin. It’s best to put sunscreen on all bare areas of skin several minutes before you start your practice.
Be Mindful of the Ground’s Surface
If you’re taking an outdoor class, chances are your teacher will have picked a suitable area for everyone. Regardless, it’s still worth making sure you’re not putting your mat down on any rocks, twigs, or uneven terrain. If you’re practicing privately, you may want to forgo any poses that involve putting more pressure on the wrists if you’re on a soft surface like grass or sand. In fact, you may even want to skip the mat altogether if you find that it doesn’t stay flat.
Check Your Mat
If your yoga mat is made out of natural rubber, you may not be able to expose it to direct sunlight without the risk of ruining its stickiness. Before you head outside for your yoga practice, do a Google search for your brand or type of mat to see if there are any warnings about putting it in direct sunlight. If you’re not sure, you probably shouldn’t risk it — especially if you spent a good chunk of money to get a high-quality mat!