This weekend I hosted Yoga In The Park at Taylor-Brawner Park in Smyrna. It turned out pretty good and the weather was perfect. We had plenty of water, soothing music, willing participants, a personal photographer and of course nature.
I remember the first time I attended a Yoga In The Park event, I was so nervous. I was extremely self-conscious. I just knew everybody would stop, stare or yell out ‘what are these crazy people doing’. The funny thing is that after five minutes I forgot all about my fears and focused on my breathing. After 90 minutes it was over. I mentioned it to the instructor and her response was to just keep confronting that fear. She suggested that I start by practicing on my front porch or in my front yard. That’s when I knew she was crazy. There was no other explanation at the time. I’d just wrapped my mind around being out in the open with complete strangers. Clearly, I would never see these strangers again, my neighbors were a different story.
Who knew I would become a leader of this crazy concept. Fast forward three years and here I am on the other side leading my own Yoga In The Park series. I love yoga and I love being outside so what better way to have the best of both worlds. It is now my turn to introduce this fascinating concept to others. If you have not experienced Yoga In The Park you might want to stop by and see what’s all the buzz. Here are five reasons you should come try Yoga In The Park
- Breath of fresh air. In yoga, we spend a lot of time focusing on our breathing. We also spend a lot of time indoors doing it. Deep breathing in nature adds that extra kick to oxygenate our bodies. As oxygen increases so do our energy. We also improve the functions of our circulatory, digestive and nervous systems.
- Be in the moment. Most people are constantly moving around but how often do you get a chance to be still and enjoy the moment. Even if you lay on the mat the whole 60 minutes you have given yourself permission to be in that moment. In addition, mindfulness in an outdoor setting heightens our mental awareness and allow us to notice patterns of tension that can be changed.
- Be a kid again. I remember spending my whole summer outside. In all honesty, I barely remember what we did outside but I knew we loved it. We only had two rules ‘stay on this block’ and ‘get home before the street lights’. So we ran, played, jumped, climbed trees and rode our bikes from sun up to sun down. Laying in Savasana under the trees takes me back to a time when I had no worries and for a split second, I go back to that state. All the good memories from childhood come flooding back. My mood shifts and I leave the park covered in smiles.
- Connect with the earth. I rarely walk around barefoot so I’m always looking for a reason to take off my shoes. We come from the earth, eat from it and live on it but how often do you spend a few moments in silence just connecting with the energy of mother earth. Yoga In The Park reminds you to be grateful for the gifts provided by nature (water and air).
- Confront your fears. We often fear the unknown. We see things and hear about concepts that intrigue us but shy away from them because of what others might think. It takes confidence and courage to be on a stage for everyone to see. Yoga In The Park is one of those stages but in finding your courage you may inspire someone else to find theirs.