There’s something about a comfortable yoga studio that calms the mind and awakens the senses. But what happens when we step away from our usual surroundings and expose our yoga to the world?
Here are nine diverse, exotic places you can take your yoga mat to connect with your environment and expand your personal horizons in the process:
1. Urban Yoga
While yoga in nature connects you with the environment, yoga in the city can remind you to be proud of the human spirit and our individual accomplishments. Being atop a tall building can be symbolic of your potential to build yourself into someone remarkable (starting with a stronger yoga body).
2. Desert Yoga
Deserts are dry and harsh. But they also embody peaceful stillness, and practicing yoga here can provide an unequaled counterbalance to the rush of urban life. In the desert you can grow in physical strength and confidence with zero distractions (besides the powerful sun, of course).
3. Yoga on the Beach
Beaches are among the most beautiful sights in the world. It’s easy to forget just how strong the ocean is, and doing yoga on the beach can inspire you to meditate on water as both a source of joyous wonder and powerful force. Like the sea, we can remain calm and flowing, yet show our true physical strength when necessary.
4. Yoga in the Woods
Yoga among the trees (especially in your best Tree Pose) helps you connect with nature while enhancing your balance and flexibility. You can leave the world behind for an hour or so, learning to focus on the peace and serenity of nature. The coexistence of many life forms in the woods can encourage you to bring more peace and harmony into your daily interactions.
5. Waterfall Yoga
Waterfalls are deeply symbolic of rebirth and change in our lives. Practicing near falling water can be a great way to promote fearlessness and motivation not just in your yoga routines but in all the decisions you face daily.
6. Yoga on Cliffs
Standing on a cliff is like standing at the top of the world. Even though things are happening beneath you, the air is still and peaceful, allowing you to focus on your breathing and your inner harmony. Yoga above the cliffs is a great way to work out while in awe of nature’s beauty and power.
7. Yoga in an Empty Field
Fields are tranquil and serene, mirroring the ultimate goal of most yoga practices – oneness with the self. By taking your practice outdoors and connecting with simple elements of air, grass and sun, you are returning to the most basic parts of your human identity and recalling your place in the world as a whole.
8. Yoga in Canyons
It takes thousands of years to form a single canyon, and the beauty that came out of that perseverance is breathtaking. Practicing yoga in a canyon for an hour or two can help inspire you to renew your own patience and reflect on the importance of quiet perseverance. Even nature takes time to make beautiful things, and sometimes it’s better to do things slowly and make those things wonderful.
9. Lake Yoga
Still waters run deep. The ocean isn’t the only aquatic setting in which you can command your asanas and meditate on the beautiful fluidity of life. Many lakeside locations offer views of hills and mountains which beaches do not, and can provide powerful backdrops for your practice especially when the waters are absolutely clear.
We are so fortunate to be surrounded by so many breathtaking natural sights. And while we can’t always trek to exotic locations to do yoga, we should try at least once in a while to mix up our surroundings, expand past our comfort zones and step outside of the boxes we all-too-commonly live inside of.