There are so many reasons practicing at home can be difficult sometimes. A new show or movie on Netflix is calling your name. There’s furniture or laundry in the way of your practice space. Fido or the cat is feeling extra needy. Maybe you’re a mom or are taking care of family members, and just can’t get a few minutes without someone asking you for something.
If practicing yoga is important to you, but one or more things at home have been making it hard to get your practice in, maybe it’s time to change up your routine with an outdoor practice.
Ways to Practice Outside
Backyard or Patio
If you are fortunate enough to have a backyard or patio, that might be a good place to start. My current home is a little chilly because of the tile so it is really nice to take a 15-20 minute practice in our small yard. There is nothing like the Arizona sun warming my skin.
This might provide a new challenge as noise pollution for neighbors and cars. In my experience living in an apartment community, early mornings were the quietest times to practice on my patio.
I love practicing yoga at the park. There is more space and trees, and it’s also a great place to practice with a friend or two. I usually bring my dog Baby Bear and tie her to a nearby tree or lamppost. She loves to lie in the grass and just smell the wind or take a nap.
Baby Bear and I love to go on weekend camping trips. You don’t have to go far, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Look for a state or county park within an hour’s drive from your home and it makes an easy weekend trip.
It’s fun to turn these trips into mini DIY yoga retreats. You can do a sunrise practice, a midday practice, and an evening practice and go hiking in between. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with nature and get away from the digital distractions.
While getting closer to nature and practicing outside can be relaxing and rewarding, it is important to take safety precautions.
You may want to check with your state’s environmental quality agency or your city to check the air pollution levels before heading outdoors. Especially if you have sensitive air ways or asthma. Breath is important in yoga, so you don’t want to be breathing in air that will make you sick.
I live in Arizona, where temperatures can hover near 120 degrees in the summer. Even in the winter, the afternoons are relatively warm compared to other parts of the country. Blue sky and sunshine are the norm.
Wherever you live, pay attention to the temperature and humidity. If it’s going to be hot, find a shady spot and remember to bring and to drink plenty of water.
On the other side of things, if it’s going to be cold, dress in layers. Pay even more attention to your fluid intake since you may not feel as thirsty as you would on a hot day.
Always make sure at least one close friend or relative knows where you will practice and when.
Be aware. Always be aware of your surroundings when practicing outside in public, especially if you’re practicing alone. Avoid wearing headphones or earbuds, which may give someone the impression that you are distracted and an easy target. Making eye contact can also signal to a person that you see them and are aware of their presence, in case they were thinking otherwise.
Don’t be predictable. You will probably want to post on social media about your practice, but avoid posting the time and location of your practice online. When practicing outdoors alone, also avoid practicing at the same time in the same place regularly. Switch up your routine so that it is not predictable where you will be.
Keep technology and belongings either locked in your car or close by and insight.
None of these safety tips are to scare you, but I wanted to acknowledge there are safety risks for practicing outdoors and the risks will vary depending on where you live. There are good people out there, but there are also bad ones.