TEN TIPS FOR HOW TO PROPERLY PRACTICE YOGA ON THE BEACH
Sunny days are common in Andalucia, allowing us to practice all sorts of outdoor activities, including running, skating, biking and, why not? Yoga on the beach. If you area fan of that last option, you might want to check out our ten things that should be known before taking on this activity that relaxes your mind and body.
1. What Is Yoga?
The word yoga comes from Sanskrit and means “union” – the union of body and mind, union with the universe. In all paths of yoga, practitioners usually set out to reach a state of spiritual development or ‘enlightenment’. In the case of hatha yoga, which is one of the most common types practices in the West, this state of enlightenment is achieved through intensive work with the body. This work, of course, can be completed at the beach.
2. What Is The Best Time To Practice At the Beach
Unless you’re a disciple of bikram yoga (yoga practiced at 40 ˚ C) , the ideal temperature for practicing this activity is 19 to 22 ˚ C. Therefore, according to the month of the year and where you are, try to choose the time of day most likely to have this approximate temperature. During the warmer months, the ideal is to practice during the early morning or late afternoon. Remember to also wear a sweatshirt or warm clothes to cover for the end of the sequence. When relaxed, it is common to feel a little cold.
3. Always Come With Sunscreen
Even if you practice in the early morning, never underestimate the power of Surya, the god of sun, which can enlighten us, enliven us and, if we don’t pay attention burn us as well. When practicing yoga, it is quite common to reach a deep state of relaxation and concentration that can make it easy to lose track of time. It never hurts to throw on some sunscreen.
4. Choose Your Space Wisely
Many of the asanas, or yoga postures, require an ample dose of balance. Therefore, before starting your yoga session on the beach, make sure you have chosen an area that is as flat as possible, otherwise you might have some difficulties achieving positions like vriksasana (tree pose) or sirshasana (posture on one’s head). Of course, if you fall, the sand will be there to soften your fall so you won’t likely hurt yourself
5. Do Not Eat Before Practicing Yoga
Avoid eating before practicing yoga, but if you have to, make it a little, light snack. Just avoid doing it just after large lunches, breakfasts and dinners. If you have to, you should avoid practicing inversions like sirshasana (headstand), Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) and halasana (plow posture or cervical flexion) as it may cause indigestion.
6. Focus On Finding Quiet Beaches
Concentration is key for achieving an optimal yoga experience. Therefore, while it may be complicated, try to find a beach away from the maddening crowds. Although you may be an expert in the art of pratyahara (the abstraction of the senses), you will still have trouble ignoring the outrageously loud cries of children playing ball nearby.
7. Connect With The Environment
The higher purpose of reaching a state of union with the universe is much more achievable in a natural setting like the beach, offering the sound of waves and bids and the rhythm of the ocean. These are primal sounds that have existed since the beginning of time so when we hear them, our cells remember and react, synchronizing to the universe. When this happens, we become full of life and energy.
If you practice yoga regularly, I am certain that your instructor has proposed some sort of relaxation visualization in a natural setting, like a forest, a mountain or a sunset on a beach. This is undoubtedly the greatest advantage of practicing yoga in a natural environment: You Don’t Have To Imagine Anything At All. You just have to sharpen your senses, feel the sea breeze while you do the sun salutation and breathe in the nitrate and iodine odours when in cobra pose. When all is said and done, you can dive into a deep state of intense relaxation without anyone to guide you – just listen to the waves crashing on the shore.
9. Take This Opportunity To Experience ‘Nude Yoga’
If you choose a nude beach as a place for your yoga practice, you can take to carry out one of the most advanced forms of this discipline: nude yoga. This form of yoga was born in the sixties in the U.S. with the ” hippy ” movement and has recently been introduced in a New York gym. The goal, they say, is to offer students a new way to celebrate their bodies with no sexual situations. Students are free to get more out of their classes and feel closer to nature, the true ‘I’.
Meditation is the key to our inner peace – our greatness as human beings. Meditation also helps us to provide a clearer, more skilled response when dealing with toxic or negative forces, promoting positive emotions in your mind. So, when you find yourself in the perfect environment, reserve a few moments to meditate. Put yourself in a lotus position (or half lotus or cross-legged), making sure that your back is straight, your chin on your chest and your breathing focused on your nostrils. If anything comes to mind, let it go – let it go – then immediately refocus your attention back on your breathing.