Millions of yoga lovers around the world know that the series of movements is known for decreasing anxiety, increasing blood flow, lowering blood pressure, not to mention tightening and toning those hard to target regions of the body. An added bonus of the practice is that you can do yoga from virtually anywhere. And although yoga can be practiced in nearly any space, you will derive more benefits by downward dogging and chaturanga-ing outdoors. Yoga is not only a healthy practice, but it’s also an eco-healthy one – an action that supports your personal health while also promoting the health of the environment. Check out a few reasons, below, to take your yoga to the great outdoors!
You’ll Boost Your Mental Well-being
By simply being outside, your psychological wellbeing, mood and self-esteem will get a boost and feelings of anger, confusion, depression and tension will all subside, according to studies. Add this to the mental health benefits of several yoga poses and you’ll find that time on the mat in the great outdoors will serve up one great big dose of happy feelings.
You’ll Up Your Vitamin D Intake
Sunlight is the largest single source of vitamin D for most people. A deficiency of vitamin D can increase one’s risk for diabetes, muscle and bone pain and certain types of cancers. Getting more of this vitamin into your system can lower chances of a heart attack, rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. While we don’t want to overdose on the sun or sunburn, practicing yoga with a full coverage sunscreen and stretching out in the shade will work wonders on your vitamin D levels. And if you live in the northern part of the USA or in Canada, be sure to get plenty of sun exposure in the summer months, as your body will suffer lower levels of vitamin D in the winter.
You’ll Save on Energy
Heading out of the yoga studio and into the great outdoors will also save on the establishment’s lighting, cooling and/or heating costs (think about how much energy is used to heat a 90 minute Bikram class!) and reduce their carbon footprint.
You’ll Be One With The Earth
Take advantage of the outdoor elements that can act as yoga props, enhancing and supporting your poses. Sand, dirt and soft grass are easy on the knees and the top of the head (headstands, anyone?) and gentle on the rest of the body, in case you take a tiny tumble.