I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m no yogi. I’ve always thought yoga was amazing, I’ve gotten pretty damn sweaty at a few hot yoga sessions, I was super into my best friend’s yoga teacher training and career, and, well, if there’s a free class – sign me up! But yoga has never been something I loved, just because I’ve always wanted to get crazy when I workout – running, cardio, HIIT – and it didn’t seem like yoga was conducive to that type of training. Though yoga can be, and often is a very productive form of exercise, it just wasn’t for me.
That’s until I tried outdoor yoga.
Synergy 180 is a HIIT, strength, and yoga studio that just opened in my town, Ocean Beach. They take the regular yoga and enhance it with classes that feature strength training, light weightlifting, core, cardio, and dynamic stretching. And to kickoff their opening, they held outdoor classes. Which I loved. It was so fun to get out in the sunshine, to move my body, to sweat, to be in nature, to watch the birds and planes and palm trees dance in the wind, and to really get a good workout.
What was fun about the outdoor classes was the ability to feel like I was connected on all levels – mind, body, and soul. The sessions started with talking, breathing, and getting yourself in a relaxed, positive zone. From there, the workout went into different cardio/HIIT combinations that got your heart rate going, then relaxed, then going again – by the time we were halfway through, I was sweating!
After the most intense part of the workout, we moved into core, cooldown, and finally more yoga stretches that refocused our mind and relaxed our muscles. At the very end we got to lay and listen to the Saturday morning sounds with our eyes closed – just breathing, taking nature in, slowing down and refocusing so that we could take our energy and bring it positively forward into the day.
I loved this workout! And it was nice to meet a community of other like-minded people soaking up the sun and having fun, while kicking our booties.
Here’s five reasons why, if you haven’t, you should definitely do an outdoor yoga class:
1. It’s different.
Traditional yoga can be a good time, but sometimes putting yourself in a new environment can spark interest you didn’t know you had. That’s how it was for me. I’ve been interested in yoga, but not passionate about it – being able to do it outside made me focus on the beauty of nature rather than all the items on my to-do list (which my mind wanders to when I’m in a quiet studio).
2. Your connection with nature deepens.
Okay, maybe this sounds a little hippyish, but bear with me. There’s so much to be said about being outdoors and connecting with nature, but how often do you do it uninterrupted? Quietly? Without your phone, social media, friends, or other distractions?
Being able to workout outside allowed me to shut off all that other crap and just focus on my body – how I was feeling, breathing, sweating, moving.
3. You get vitamin D.
Okay, for me this is big. Maybe you work a 9-5 office job. Maybe you get off work when it’s already dark. Maybe you find yourself inside more than outside – well this is an opportunity for you to take advantage of the outdoor temperatures!
4. You’ll challenge yourself.
Outdoor workouts come with their own set of challenges – you have to battle the elements (air, terrain, sights, sounds, etc.) When we did walking lunges, I was going up and down mini-hills, which added another layer of difficulty to the workout – this was great! It wouldn’t have been the same indoors.
5. You surround yourself with like-minded people.
Outdoors people are a fun breed. They’re usually positive. They’re interested in doing things, not just watching life pass them by. And being at an outdoor workout can connect you with others who feel the same way you do, or are at least excited to be there.
Here’s a picture of my yoga crew at the end of week two. I’m excited to see what other classes are offered (I just bought my own yoga mat!) and see if I can start embracing my inner yogi a bit more. 🙂
Yogi? Just getting started? Want to share your experience?
Feel free to comment!