Bikram yoga is hot stuff right now. Having taken off during the 1970s this variation on Hatha yoga has never been more popular. Its practice consists of a series of poses performed over 90 minutes...
SWEAT AT LEAST ONCE A DAY | this is probably one of my favorite mantras to wake up to. This little mantra has some big ideas behind it; it speaks directly to working up a physical sweat every day, because, well, if we lived in the 1950s, a radio ad would read something along the lines of “a little exercise every day keeps the doctor away”. On a deeper level, I like the idea of doing something every day that makes you physically sweat because it’s different, scary, and new. When you live in a busy city like myself, you build routines into your lifestyle. Your morning routine, your gym work-out, your meetings, your fitness clubs, your volunteer organizations, etc. etc. etc.
Recently, I had a friend visit from San Fran who shook up my entire week’s routine. Most notably, he introduced me to a new yoga instructor named S (for privacy reasons, we’ll keep his name quiet) who teaches hip hop yoga at the beach.
My jaw dropped. Literally.
Someone who’s going to throw down some beats, sun salutations and mix in some inversions as the tides roll in? I have to check out this outdoor yoga scene.SEASIDE ASANAS
We didn’t practice on the beach. We practiced BY the beach. S said that the sand can be a little difficult for certain poses, practicing on a sunny patch of grass by the beach is great. He said that he normally has his students practice on the grass because it’s flatter and much easier for balancing poses. Also, we did not have to worry about bringing extra equipment besides a water bottle, shades, spf, and a really cute pair of yoga shorts.
As soon as S turned on the speaker and started with a little statement about the sun, the great weather and the great energy into the next 45-minute practice, I could feel a little uneasy. I felt a little uncomfortable because this was so different than my studio practice. Why is there music? Why is the wind blowing across my face? Why can I hear the waves crashing? Why can I hear the birds singing? Why is he playing Chance The Rapper? Does he know it’s my new obsession? Ladies, it was obvious that I was no longer in Kansas, this is officially hip hop at the beach!
As soon as I closed my eyes, I was so happy on the inside, I could hear myself saying: “Oh My God, who would have ever thought that I would be doing yoga at the beach?” On the outside, I was soaking in the sunshine, feeling the wind caress my skin, and listening to the waves in the background.
The 45-minutes went by pretty quickly. We started with a few sun salutations to warm up our muscles, a few standing postures, a few back bends, some balancing postures, and then came the head stands. I definitely struggled as I have a weak core. I made a mental note that I should pick up a few pilates classes at the gym next week (note: this happened almost two weeks ago and that pilates class has yet to make it into my agenda, lol).UPS AND DOWNS
Let’s be honest, I was a little resistant about initially taking this class because there were so many new things thrown at me: just the three of us practicing at a park, by the beach, listening to hip hop. Funny thing about resistance, sometimes, we let fear drive the decision-making process, that we get in the way of our own experiences. If you think about it, Yoga actually means ‘union’ and getting back to nature is what yoga is all about. The opportunity to practice outside just had so many ‘new’ elements thrown into it, that I almost backed out.
Looking back, I’m actually very glad that I went through with it, despite the challenges of new poses, and new music, and the outdoor elements. The best part about the summer, is that there are so many yoga teachers wanting to take their students outside of the studio and to experience the outdoors. Grab a friend, pick up some new gear, and hit up the outdoor yoga scene. You might be impressed with how much fun it is to shake things up.
Trust me, a well-behaved woman rarely ever made history. So make yours a best seller by saying YES to trying new classes, living outside your comfort zone, and sweating at least once a day.
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#yoga #outdooryoga #sweat #asana #shaktiactivewear