Outdoor Yoga - six ways to make it even more special!
Those of you who know me well know my favourite place to practice yoga …. grass underfoot and sky above!
Teachers, your outdoor space requires a few extra considerations; here are six ways to elevate the practice to an amazing experience for everyone.
1. Location, location, location. As flat an area as possible is best. Find a tree; shade is essential for some. Find a spot that’s easy for students to locate you in, and go in advance to clean the area up. If there could be dog or fox poo your kit will include gloves and wipes so be prepared!
2. Consider your layout. A semi-circle is good, you could have several ‘rows’. If its a large group a full circle is better, rows are ok here too. It will be a little haphazard but do try to guide people to see and hear you as best they can. Position yourself so you are in the direct sunlight; this makes it easier for them to see you.
3 Use your environment to guide your students through their practice in a state of mindful meditation. The feel of the grass underfoot, the scent in the air, the breeze on skin, the rustle of leaves, the birdsong. Weave your senses into your language and take them on a journey of adventure into the present moment.
4. Be like the Mum. Some people won’t like worms, some people will need to be close to you, some people will need extra reassurance or a tissue or some sunscreen. Mind your students and keep them safe and comfortable in your care.
5. Encourage them to be like the kids. Get playful. Wild thing. Vachistasana. Bakasana. Head stand. Hand stand. Falling over. Get them out of their comfort zones and get them laughing.
6. Find balance. Offer child’s pose as needed. Encourage rest as required, especially if its hot. Emphasise relaxation, emphasise joy.
Above all, pause to take a few grateful, grounding, joyful breaths regularly as you teach. Live it, breathe it, enjoy it. Your delight and authenticity will shine through and elevate the practice for your lucky, grateful students.
“If you exude joy, you spread joy.” Roberta Gately.