Spring is right around the corner, and that’s such a relief for many of us. Sometimes winter seems to last forever, and spring is a welcome reprieve from feeling like you’re trapped inside. Even if you don’t live in a place that gets too cold, it’s easy to find yourself feeling a bit stuck after the holidays. Everyone hypes up the New Year, but by February so many people are struggling to find their momentum. But here we are, it’s mid-March and the first official day of Spring is days away!
Change Up Your Practice
Now is a great time to change up your practice. As the weather gets warmer it’s nice to find moments to be in nature. Incorporating the outdoors into your routine is a great way to reinvigorate your practice while soaking in the beauty of the world around you. Often we find ourselves bogged down by our day-to-day routine and feel a bit stagnant, but changing up the scenery is a great way to freshen things up. Plus, heading outside offers a whole new way of looking at the world around you.
Discover New Challenges
Whether you have a space to practice in your backyard, you go to a park, or head down by the water, being outdoors offers new challenges and opportunities to deepen your practice. Laying your mat down in a soft bed of grass or practicing in the sand seems idyllic, but there are lots of challenges that come with it. Imagine stepping forward into Warrior 1 from Down Dog and kicking a face-full of sand into your eyes; oh yes, that’s a new experience altogether. Or think about sinking into Child’s Pose to realize a family of ants has discovered the alien texture of your mat. Maybe a game of ultimate frisbee springs up around that beautiful peaceful spot you found in the park, or an off-leash dog surprises you as you sit in Lotus position under a shade tree.
Embrace the Unknown
Yes, taking yourself out of your normal, everyday, safe space means some things aren’t going to go according to plan. But when you stepped outside you surrendered more of your control and embraced the unknown. Choosing to trust in the lessons of the moment is a mental shift you learn to appreciate even when every upward salute results in another shower of sand or your peaceful nature meditation is interrupted with a burst of laughter from the neighbor kids. At the end of your practice you will find even more peace and stillness knowing that you stepped out; you did something different and you got to spend that time soaking in the majesty of Mother Nature.
There are so many ways to incorporate the outdoors into your routine. Even if you don’t feel like you want to unroll your mat outdoors, try parking your car a bit further from the door and walking, or deciding to walk or bike to work a few days a week. Maybe get up from your desk and walk around the building a few times, or take your lunch outside. If you have pets or kids it might seem easier to get that outdoor time in, but try to be a bit more conscious about how the sun feels on your face, or the breeze as it changes from season to season. Perhaps just pause a bit more often to really take in the beauty of the blossoms on the trees or the flowers as they make their first appearances. The more you do this the more it becomes part of your daily practice, and this appreciation for all the creations around us is an even deeper practice of yoga.
About the Author
Clarissa is a 500 hour RYT teaching weekly classes in the Quad Cities IL/IA since 2014. She also travels extensively presenting workshops around the country and leading international retreats. She teaches what might be considered Vinyasa style classes mostly but loves instructing beginners and teaching new innovative flows. After a decade as a student Clarissa enjoys sharing what she has learned and helping her students shape their future through yoga and movement. She has had a dedicated Ashtanga practice for over four years that has fueled her desire to learn and share the power of yoga with as many people as she can! She loves being a YogaClub Box Tribe leader and the favorite brands she’s received are, Teeki, Nux, and Free People, though she can’t wait to try all the other brands!