Finding Zen Through Outdoor Yoga
"Go outside, it’s good for you," your mother always told you. It’s probably something you now tell your own children. Take your own advice! Being outside is beneficial to your health in more ways than one.
Vitamin D comes from the sun. It is something that our bodies need but do not produce on its own. A deficiency in Vitamin D leads to depression. Studies have shown that participants who exercise outdoors have decreased levels of depression, anger and tension together with increased energy levels, satisfaction and revitalization.
A few Saturdays ago, I got to experience something incredible – Yoga on the Rocks – thanks to a contest I won on an outdoor adventurer’s blog. What’s Yoga on the Rocks you ask? Nope, it’s not the newest fad in cocktails. It’s an exhilarating workout at one of the most awe-inspiring venues in the world - Red Rocks. Sadly, there are no more sessions for the year; however, next summer, it’s a must if you live in the Colorado area and enjoy yoga.
We were able to connect with nature and observe the natural world: the smell of the air, the feel of the wind, the sound of the birds, the shifting shadows, all while practicing yoga in an outdoor amphitheater surrounded by naturally-formed, breathtaking red rocks. By practicing yoga outdoors, you can experience this too along with the catharsis of emotions that yoga brings about.
Yoga poses can strongly influence our emotional states. Back-bending elevates a low mood due to the expansive inhalation and opening of the chest, while exhale-intensive forward bends have a calming effect. In obtaining a balance, both inhale-oriented and exhale-oriented poses are performed in order to create equilibrium in the body and breath and to achieve emotional harmony.
When we feel stressed or agitated, our bodies feel it too and tension builds in the shoulders, neck, hips or lowers back. Through a balanced yoga practice and particularly through postures that work on these specific areas, many of our frustrations can be released.
As I moved through the poses at Yoga on the Rocks, I was able to shift my awareness away from my rambling mind and feel present in my body. After resting my body in Shavasana, I went home feeling reassured with my mind and my muscles at ease.
What's your favorite yoga position? Where's your favorite place to practice yoga?
Health & Fitness
Tagged: health, outdoors, fitness, yoga
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