A Yoga Flow to Perform in Nature
If you’ve heard of the recent trend, “Forest Bathing,” you’ll know all about the healing and nurturing benefits of nature. And taking your yoga practice outside can have similar advantages. An outdoor yoga flow allows you to immerse yourself in the real world.
It grounds you, helping you balance your emotional, spiritual, and mental states and helping you reconnect with yourself.
But don’t get caught up in finding the “perfect” setting. As many of us know, seeking out perfection can quickly become a fool’s errand. A setting, such as your backyard or a field, offers similar benefits of outdoor yoga (and remember, perfection and beauty are all in the eyes of the beholder!).
So, grab your mat. Find that peaceful outdoor space – whatever speaks to you or works for you and your life right now. And let’s get flowing.
Connecting With Nature Yoga Flow
Let yourself be a little wild here.
What does this mean? While the poses have a set technique, move your body in whichever way feels good. This might mean making settle adjustments to the pose or supporting yourself differently.
As we go through the outdoor yoga flow below, we’ll provide some options to help you find the best way to move for your body and so that you can focus on reconnecting with yourself and the earth (as opposed to trying to fit your body into a mold or pose that just doesn’t feel right).
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1. Mountain Pose
Begin this flow standing tall and with your feet about hip-width apart. Ground yourself with all four corners of your feet. Feel yourself connect with the earth. Inhale and place your hands at your sides, with your palms facing forward. You’re open to whatever this world presents to you.
Allow all that good energy in.
Ensure you pay attention to keeping your quads and core engaged. Draw your shoulders down and back and pay attention to whether the crown of your head is level with the rest of your body.
This pose doesn’t exactly offer options besides standing however feels best for you. The idea here is to find stability, like a mountain. This pose is further wonderful for maintaining a good posture and strengthening your entire body.
Close your eyes and stay here for 5-10 breaths. Notice each inhale and exhale. Listen to any sounds of nature as you do so. Just be.
2. Tree Pose
Tree pose is a wonderful balancing posture. As far as earth yoga poses go, this is another great grounding one. It requires good balance, mindfulness, and peace. Embody the energy of the trees. And keep your eyes open for this one.
Starting in mountain pose, inhale and ground into your right foot, placing the bottom side of your left foot on either your inner right calf or your inner right quad. As you exhale, gently turn your left knee outward.
You have two options here for your hands and arms: You can either bring them up, palms together, and over top of your head. Or you can bring your palms together at your heart’s center.
Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Again, pay attention to those inhales and exhales. Focus on one spot ahead of you to maintain your balance. After you’ve completed this pose on one side, make sure you do the same on the other (there is an option to go through this flow a few times and do the other leg during your second flow).
3. Downward Dog
This pose is here more so for transition.
From tree pose, place both feet on the mat. Bend forward into a brief forward fold, then step both feet back, coming into downward dog. This should look like an upside-down V. Inhale and exhale, then raise your right leg high to the sky, preparing for your next pose.
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4. Pigeon Pose
Dive into your wild side a little more with the pigeon pose.
This hip-opener stretches your thighs, back, groin, and more. And at first, it might feel awkward. But as you stay in this pose for a set duration, you might find yourself easing into it more. You’ll get what we mean in a second here.
From downward dog, with your right leg raised, bring your right leg forward, bending your knee. Turn your knee outward and place your right leg down on the mat, with your shin parallel to the top of your mat. Lower yourself to the floor, extending your left leg straight behind you.
If you need padding, place a pillow, block, or cushion under your right hip for support. Ensure your hips are square.
If possible, slowly lower to your forearms with the intention of bringing your forehead to the mat. If this isn’t possible, grab some blocks or a cushion to rest your body and head, if required.
Stay here for 5-10 breaths, or even longer. Make sure you switch sides afterward (unless you’re doing a second flow of these poses).
For a second flow, come back into downward dog, then step forward to stand tall back into Mountain Pose.
Re-Connect With Nature & Yourself
Getting outside is a form of self-care. In fact, reconnecting with the earth can help untangle the chaos of everyday life and help you find your center once again.
Maybe this flow is exactly what you need. Something simple. Something grounding. Something that you can go to when anxiety and stress wash over you. Yoga, especially outdoor yoga flows, can do that for you.
So, take that step. Get outside. Find your balance.
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