Yoga In Strange Places
No Studio Required
Anyone can do yoga at a gym or in a yoga studio, but how does balancing a tree pose in unconventional places inspire your practice? I am personally bent on practicing yoga in a studio or my basement in my daily routine. However, a handful of my girlfriends who are avid yoga practitioners and I have done a few downward dogs in strange and strangely beautiful places. Practicing yoga outside the customary environment conceivably fosters a sense of adventure, adaptability and to see the sacredness of the practice wherever we may find ourselves. Real estate agents are all about location, but for the devoted yogi, the locale plays only a part.
One of the remarkable gifts of yoga is the portability of the practice that can be done in close quarters with no mat required! One of my girlfriends was on a long haul flight with her entire family of six. After flight delays, children fighting and it just being a generally stressful travel day, my friend was feeling desperate for yoga to ease her aching and agitated mind and body. She went to the back of the plane in the galley and did a short standing sequence including lunges and warrior poses to feel some relief!
I have practiced and taught yoga at interesting event spaces, like nightclubs. A good idea theoretically, however, bars and dance floors do not look as sexy when sober and in broad daylight! A fun experience once you can get past the lingering scent of stale beer and cigarettes, which makes for an intoxicating practice!
A friend of mine attended a yoga event held in a church. Practicing in a holy place, my friend shared that she felt a deep sense of appreciation for yoga’s ancient traditions and being in a place of ritual, magnified the experience for her.
Of course, an environment can add richness and beauty to a yoga practice when in wondrous places, like nature. A magical moment happened to a friend of mine as she led a group of 15-year-old girls through the wilderness on a two-week canoe trip. Using a damp towel, my friend practiced sun salutations on big flat rocks that jutted out to a lake. She inspired her campers and by the fifth day, all were breathing and moving together as one, doing postures on uneven surfaces like dirt and grass.
One of my favourite experiences, was practicing yoga overlooking a wine vineyard in the country. It was wonderful to inhale the sweet air as we moved through the practice and meditated surrounded by grapevine plantations.
The gift of practicing yoga in strange, non traditional places is that it illuminates the sacredness of every moment and every breath. When the whole world becomes a place to practice yoga, we can more easily see the divine that is present.
Sari Nisker-Fox is a yoga teacher and holistic life coach who brings the yoga practice into studios, business and back into nature at The Yoga Weekend. www.sarifox.com