By now you’ve likely heard that practicing yoga provides many benefits, including increased flexibility, improved energy, and an overall sense of relaxation. I’ve been practicing various types of yoga for over a decade and can tell you that while I definitely dig the way it strengthens my body, what I really appreciate about it is what it does for my mind. As in: Slows. It. Way. The. Heck. Down. And. Keeps. Me. Mindful. OHHHMMM.
While I love yoga, I also like trying new things. Luckily for me, there are a bunch of different types of yoga practices out there: yin (best ever – I do it a few times a week), Bikram (I call this one torture yoga), Vinyasa flow (great cardio workout), SUP yoga (trying it this weekend; fingers crossed I manage to stay on the board), yoga with goats (seriously, it’s a real thing and I’m going to try it someday), aerial (yoga in the air – what’s not to love about that?!), glow (not high on my priority list, but I’ll probably do it at some point), restorative (just went on an excellent remote retreat for this type last weekend), and on and on.
If you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean or a lake, you can also try sunset (or sunrise for those of you who live on a totally different schedule than I do) yoga on the beach, which is as relaxing as it sounds. Fair warning though: it’s not as simple as it seems. In fact, I’ve listed a few things below you should know before you give it a try.
- Wear layers: when the sun goes down and the wind kicks up it gets chilly fast and nothing ruins your zen like goosebumps and chattering teeth.
- No matter how careful you try to be, sand will get everywhere. If you don’t like a dirty mat, I suggest designating an old one just for beach yoga or bringing a towel to place underneath it.
- Speaking of sand, wear a hooded sweatshirt so that when you go into your final savasana pose you can pull up the hood to avoid getting a bunch of it in your hair.
- If you have long hair and it’s windy, you hairdo will be destroyed when you’re done. Throw on a hat and just deal with it.
- The sand is going to throw off your balance and stability, so you won’t feel as sturdy as you do in a studio. You can smooth out the sand prior to placing down your mat, which helps a bit. You can also place a bamboo mat or thick blanket under your yoga mat to create a more even surface, but you’ll still waver with your movements. I’m currently trying to invent ways to improve on this: a yoga mat crossed with a thinner boogie board? A yoga mat on thick bamboo stalks? I don’t know, but if you have any ideas I’d love to hear them.
Until next time, namaste my friends.