There’s something about a comfortable yoga studio that calmsthe mind and awakens the senses. But what happens when we step away from ourusual surroundings and expose our yoga to the world?

Here are nine diverse, exotic places you can takeyour yoga mat to connect with your environment and expand your personalhorizons in the process:

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1. Urban Yoga
While yoga in nature connects you with the environment, yogain the city can remind you to be proud of the human spirit and our individualaccomplishments. Being atop a tall building can be symbolic of your potentialto build yourself into someone remarkable (starting with a stronger yoga body).

2. Desert Yoga
Deserts are dry and harsh. But they also embody peacefulstillness, and practicing yoga here can provide an unequaled counterbalance tothe rush of urban life. In the desert you can grow in physical strength and confidencewith 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 beachcan inspire you to meditate on water as both a source of joyous wonder andpowerful force. Like the sea, we can remain calm and flowing, yet show our truephysical 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. Youcan leave the world behind for an hour or so, learning to focus on the peaceand serenity of nature. The coexistence of many life forms in the woods canencourage you to bring more peace and harmony into your daily interactions.

5. Waterfall Yoga
Waterfalls are deeply symbolic of rebirth and change in ourlives. Practicing near falling water can be a great way to promote fearlessnessand motivation not just in your yoga routines but in all the decisions you facedaily.

6. Yoga on Cliffs
Standing on a cliff is like standing at the top of theworld. Even though things are happening beneath you, the air is still andpeaceful, allowing you to focus on your breathing and your inner harmony. Yogaabove the cliffs is a great way to work out while in awe of nature’s beauty andpower.

7. Yoga in an Empty Field
Fields are tranquil and serene, mirroring the ultimate goalof most yoga practices – oneness with the self. By taking your practiceoutdoors and connecting with simple elements of air, grass and sun, you arereturning to the most basic parts of your human identity and recalling yourplace in the world as a whole.

8. Yoga in Canyons
It takes thousands of years to form a single canyon, and thebeauty that came out of that perseverance is breathtaking. Practicing yoga in acanyon for an hour or two can help inspire you to renew your own patience andreflect on the importance of quiet perseverance. Even nature takes time to makebeautiful things, and sometimes it’s better to do things slowly and make thosethings wonderful.

9. Lake Yoga
Still waters run deep. The ocean isn’t the only aquaticsetting in which you can command your asanas and meditate on the beautifulfluidity of life. Many lakeside locations offer views of hills and mountainswhich beaches do not, and can provide powerful backdrops for your practiceespecially when the waters are absolutely clear.

We are so fortunate to be surrounded by so many breathtakingnatural 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 pastour comfort zones and step outside of the boxes we all-too-commonly live insideof.