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  • Ruth Heal

Practicing Yoga Outdoors

I love to practice Yoga outdoors! As of June 1st, 2020 the Studio space remains close due to the restrictions placed on our operations by the County Health Department, with which I am in agreement. Exercising outdoors in the midst of this pandemic is a much lower risk activity than exercising indoors. We would be required to wear masks indoors for the risk to be low enough, whereas outdoors on our mats we are OK to practice yoga without a mask. It is challenging for most people to wear a mask while exercising and as the weather gets warmer that will only increase our discomfort.

(We will need a bit more physical distance between us than in this photo)

I like to practice outdoors because I feel so much more connected to nature. I feel the temperature and the uneven-ness of the ground directly under my bare feet. I can sense the breezes and the air temperature on my skin and hear the birds, rustling leaves and buzzing insects. When these things fill my mind, my thoughts and anxieties are diminished and my mind becomes quieter and more focused in the present moment. Standing under a large tree or in the shadow of the mountains I am challenged to see my place in the world as smaller and of less significance than my ego would have me believe. I get "right-sized" and so do my thoughts and worries. My practice becomes a devotion to the natural world around me.

Our Town Park is a beautiful location for classes right now and through the summer. There are tall shady trees to keep us cool and in general the location is quiet and secluded in the early part of the day. Being outdoors provides an interesting element to our practice. We are able to directly connect with earth and sky, hear the birds, feel the breeze. The challenges it sometimes provides, like uneven ground, insects and so on provide an invitation to draw deeper into our practice and explore our resistance.

Being outside and on view to others may feel challenging to some of us as we feel their eyes are on us. However, I think most people are far too busy with their own pre-occupations and personal worries about how they look to pay much attention to our yoga practice. It may encourage people who do not know about yoga, or that there is a studio in La Veta to join us and share in the benefits that you have found from yoga practice.

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