Practising yoga outside is, I think, always wonderful, as it allows us to be in the moment by connecting with the air we breathe and sensing the natural world around us.
Teaching yoga outside is, for me, particularly special, and, whenever the weather is kind enough to allow it, I like to take the opportunity to take my classes into the fresh air. It’s magical to focus on the moment without the confines of doors and windows and it encourages us to allow the senses to engage fully. Of course, some locations are more spectacular than others, but a regular garden or a quiet spot in school grounds is just as good.
I’m lucky to have just come back from a wonderful break on the stunning island of Madeira, staying again at the Cliff Bay Hotel. The location is amazing, right on the Atlantic, with a fine view out to sea and the beautiful city of Funchal. I’ve attended a yoga class there before, but this time I was so happy to be able to take some early morning classes for fellow guests in spectacular settings right by the sea. One of my classes on 11th June was on Global Wellness Day, whose focus was to remind us all of the importance of living well, encompassing everything from exercise, healthy food and living, to the harmony of body and spirit.
Starting the day right by the sea, hearing the sound of the waves, feeling the warmth of the rising sun and breathing in the fresh breeze from the ocean, are experiences I will never forget. In taking care of the body and mind, we are also nourishing the soul and that is something from which we can all benefit to help us on our journey called life.
You may think you don’t do yoga or it’s not for you, but I’d like to suggest that we can all practise a little yoga – and it doesn’t have to be what you may consider difficult physical postures!
Next time the sun comes out, take some time for yourself and find a quiet spot outside to focus on your breath, allow you senses to engage in the moment and become aware of what you can see, hear, smell and feel. Focus on your breath and allow yourself to be.
Be open to the possibilities around you.
© Sarah Swan (June 2016)