By Elaine Kelly
As the weather cools, its a great opportunity to spend more time outdoors. If you have never tried yoga, here are some good reasons to give it a try and some links to free outdoor yoga events you can check out.Read more: Wake up…Go out… Do Yoga – Why its the best place to Practise
Grounding or Earthing
This is the practise of having our bare feet on the earth. The earth is negatively charged and we are positively charged. By practising yoga on the grass, beach or any surface other than concrete, you can neutralise some free radicals or positive ions in your body. Research also suggests physical contact with the Earth’s surface can help regulate our autonomic nervous system and keep our circadian rhythms — which regulate body temperature, hormone secretion, digestion and blood pressure, among other things — synchronized with the day/night cycle.
This is our body’s ability to know what it is doing without seeing such as trying to balance on one foot with your eyes closed. Being on uneven surface like grass helps to develop this skill which will lead to improved balance and reduces the likelihood of falls, particularly important as we age.
Instead of listening to the hum of the AC and gazing up at a ceiling, you have the opportunity to listen to birds, to gaze at the sun, waves or even the moon and stars. Yoga is a mindfulness practise designed to focus our attention in the present moment. Being outdoors provides our senses plenty of stimuli to take our focus away from our worries or stresses.
Indoor spaces, especially yoga studios have limited fresh air which is recycled many times leading to lower levels of oxygen. By practising outdoors, especially near trees and water, we can benefit from higher levels of oxygen. Increasing the oxygen levels can benefit your health, especially if you have a condition limiting your intake.
Where to Practise Outdoor Yoga
Yogafest Middle East – we organise free yoga events from November to May to support children in need. To find out more @yogafestme. Check out our annual Wellness event this weekend.
For a list of free yoga classes outdoors, go to Dubai loves Yoga and see if there are any near you.
Elaine Kelly founded Yogafest ME, the largest and only sustainable wellness event in the Middle East, in 2010 when she became a certified yoga teacher while working for Microsoft. With 30 years experience in the fitness industry, she wanted to support her fellow employees with their work life balance, and the idea for Yogafest was born.