Yoga Classes in Nature

20131005_115542Like most people, I look forward to the weekends! Lucky for me, I have been teaching an outdoor yoga class right on the gorgeous Chattahoochee River.  This class is scheduled weekly on Saturdays at 11am and is free to Walton on the Chattahoochee residents. 🙂 It is one of those amazing things in life, where you think to yourself ” I can’t believe I am getting paid to do this.”  The recent picture of the Saturday class includes some people who are taking yoga for the first time ever and some who love beginning their weekend this way. In this class, the rays of healing sunlight are shining down on the practitioners, as a refreshing breeze glides from the river to the banks where we are. Listening to the chirping of the birds makes it really easy to connect into the heart chakra (Anahata chakra).  The stillness of the energy in nature guides us out of the chaos of thoughts  into the peace within the center of our heart.

I notice in the seated parts of class, people may have trouble focusing the mind on the breath because other thoughts are dominant in the mind. Taking yoga classes in nature gives the advantage of not having to work so hard to get to ZEN.  The power of nature brings an enhanced enrichment to what can be gained from the poses. In Pigeon pose, “Eka Pada Rajkapotasana“, it is a fabulous time to revitalize the hip joints, rejuvenate an aching or tense lower back and open up the flow of breath down into the lower chakras. Often people spend 1-2 minutes in this pose, just allowing the energy of the body to balance while prana flows deeply into the cells. Sometimes, in poses that are held this long, people are again distracted by arising thoughts. Yet,  in nature there is a magnetism that keeps us focused on the pose. The practitioners in the pigeon pose feel the grounding energy connecting them deeply to the energy of the earth’s healing vibrations. We can easily experience a sense of connection and belonging to a greater nourishment, our Divine Mother Earth.

It is quite common to get hooked on one type of yoga and feel that is the path to Nirvana. The others may just not seem to compare.  However, just like learning from different yoga teachers, every style of class or yoga practice deepens our ability to resonate with unity, Yoga. At first, I was hesitant to practice in nature because I thought the outdoors might be even more distracting and that I would end up nature watching. However, the past several months teaching yoga outdoors has been such an incredible yoga practice for me. When the class ends, I find myself wanting to stay in that space much longer, connecting with everyone in the class until my schedule reminds me that it is time to teach the next class.

Watching people walk off to begin their weekend is fantastic to see. They have a glow of contentment and gratitude for having spent that time communing with nature. In that time, it reminds us of the spiritual beings that we truly are and just what magnificence we are capable of!  If you get a chance to take a yoga class in nature, more power to you.  Maybe even create it yourself, by just tossing down your mat and beginning with some basic poses. Who knows where you will end up. Peace and enjoy. 🙂  Kam Singh



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