There’s a reason that so many yoga retreats are held in warm, sunny places where traditional studios are often swapped out for the sand and surf. From physical to mental to spiritual, there’s a lot to be gained from practicing your asanas at the seashore. Here are 7 reasons to take your practice beachside.
From improving your well-being, boosting your energy, getting an extra workout for your muscles, and enjoying blissful peace, doing yoga on the beach is really good for you.
Studies show that being by the ocean has multiple positive effects on your health and well-being. It’s not a coincidence that doctors for centuries have prescribed trips to the seashore to improve patients’ health.
Yoga is well known for its amazing health benefits. Doing yoga on the beach is even better for you when you add in the positive effects of sea air, sunshine and being outdoors.
Exercising outdoors is good for you
According to studies, exercising outdoors in nature – especially near water – helps ease stress, tension, anger and depression, and can increase happiness, satisfaction and energy. The benefits of exercising last longer when it’s done out in nature because fresh air means the body receives a healthy supply of oxygen. Even five or 10 minutes of daily physical activity outdoors is said to make a big difference in improving our well-being. So, imagine what 30 or 60 or 90 minutes of yoga can do for you.
A Balancing Act
It’s no secret that yoga is a great way to improve balance—now, imagine replacing that sturdy bamboo floor for sand that sinks every time you shift.
The added challenge will introduce a new dimension to your practice: familiar poses will now require you to focus on totally different elements. Though you’ll have to work a little harder, your efforts won’t go unrewarded: uneven surfaces will help strengthen key areas throughout your body, like your knees and hips.
Time is On Your Side
There’s no need to rush to the studio to make it in time for class, or to vacate quickly once your class is adjourned: practicing in the open air provides much more flexibility than an indoor practice. So take your time and be inspired by your surroundings—as long as the tide permits!
Boosts your energy and happiness
Deeply breathing in fresh ocean air cleans out your lungs and boosts your energy. Salty sea air is filled with beneficial negative ions. Abundant in nature, especially around water, negative ions are oxygen atoms with negatively-charged electrons. They help your body absorb oxygen easier, stimulate your metabolism, and are believed to raise serotonin levels (the hormone responsible for feeling happy).
Practicing yoga at the beach on different days, or even at different times in the same day, can yield completely contrasting experiences.
Think about an energetic flow practice just as the sun rises above the horizon, or a peaceful yin practice under the purple and pink sky of a sunset. Experience a hot practice in a whole new way under the beating sun’s rays, or a cleansing hatha practice on a still, damp beach after a storm has passed through.
Sand is a cushion
Working on improving your balance isn’t as much of an issue on soft sand as it is on a hard, wooden floor. Sand is much more shock-absorbent and gentler on your joints. You might even feel like trying out a few more challenging poses!
Sunshine gives you essential vitamin D
Too much sun obviously is bad for you, with the threat of skin cancer; but too little sun can make you vitamin-D deficient, which has been linked with various diseases. Doing yoga outdoors, even on a cloudy day or under a bit of shade, gives you the essential vitamin D that your body needs to regulate calcium and phosphate in your system and to feel happy and healthy.
It’s amazing to have a natural ambiance while practicing yoga. You can feed off of the nature and the new place to truly connect with you mind and body.