Feeling apprehensive or excited about practicing Yoga outdoors?
Going to a yoga class is hard enough as it inherently moves us to a place of vulnerability.
We are pushed physically by moving our bodies in unique (sometimes intimidating) ways, stretching, strengthening, balancing, and coordinating alignment cues.
We challenge ourselves mentally by trying to focus, concentrate, and letting go of extraneous mental busyness. We challenge ourselves emotionally by facing our fears, including our fear of letting go, especially letting go of control and providing space for emotions to surface.
When we practice in a studio, there is some element of control, and predictability including the four walls, roof, possibly calming music, minimal to no interruptions, access to a bathroom, nice, smooth, clean floors, and rarely any bugs. In this environment, we can (theoretically) drop in deeply to cultivate self-awareness with minimal interruption. This controlled, predictable space can provide us with a sense of safety, security. For some, we need this sense of security and safety to practice something as vulnerable as yoga. For some, the mere idea of practicing without walls, and nice, smooth, clean floors, and access to a bathroom can be overwhelming.
For others, the idea of practicing yoga outdoors brings up feelings of unpredictability in a way that is exciting and filled with opportunity.
The thing is, spontaneous joy comes from vulnerability. Sometimes, we get so caught up trying to control every nuance of our lives, that we miss out on the spontaneous joy that comes from unpredictability. Practicing in the great outdoors, with the unpredictability of noises from neighbors and traffic, kids playing, that dog running through and going to the bathroom or stealing a water bottle, this is what allows us to laugh, to feel joy, to truly be in the moment. Practicing outdoors allows us spontaneous experiences, like feeling the grass under our hands and feet in downward dog, watching the clouds in savasana, and laughing when that dog tears through chasing a ball. Practicing outdoors gives us a place to practice letting go of controlling the outcome, letting go of trying to make everything perfect, and of having a laugh at the lumpy bumpy surface beneath you.
For some, practicing outdoors is no big deal, for others, it is an impossible task, and that is ok.
What if we approached our vulnerability, not with fear of the unknown, but with a sense of excitement of the possible spontaneous joy and subsequent connection that forms.
I invite you to come to the park and practice with me, knowing that I have apprehensions about teaching in the park because I can’t control that dog, or the traffic, or the neighbor with the lawn mower, or the sprinklers, or the bear that shows up, but because of the excitement of getting to be in the moment, and sharing that moment with a group of lovely souls wiling to be present for spontaneous joy!
In : Yoga E-Newlsetter
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