“Sunshine, Wind, Water, Earth: Practicing Yoga and spending time in nature can replenish depleted energy.”
One of yoga’s (many) beauties is it can literally be done anywhere. And it turns out nature enhances your practice in an entirely different way than a studio does. A recent Swedish study found viewing nature, especially fractals (the organically occurring patterns in tree branches and fern leaves for example), increased wakeful relaxation and internal focus—two pretty important components of a rewarding yoga practice. “It makes sense to practice inside during inclement weather,” says Amos Clifford, director of the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy. “But, when did we forget to take our practice outside on a glorious day?”
In our outdoor programs, we weave yoga and nature together in a way that dissolves the boundaries between them. Yoga is a wonderful mind/body program. And restorative yoga is particularly effective at reducing stress, helping to relieve tension by supporting the body with props and pillows. This allows us to comfortably settle into the postures and relax, rather than actively engaging our muscles in order to hold a pose.