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3 Ways to Embrace Summer

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3 Ways to Embrace Summer

Author: Michelle Finerty

Summer. It’s a season of fun, vacations, and time spent outdoors in a more relaxed environment, enjoying the warm days and cooler nights. Unfortunately, with all of the fun and relaxation, your yoga practice may be the one thing that is in flux during the summer.

So, have you thought about taking your practice outside? Whether you are a seasoned yoga practitioner or just starting your yoga practice, experiencing yoga in the great wide open is a wonderful way to add to the fun and adventure of the season! While there are many options available, I’m going to share with you my top three favorite ways to embrace the season and stay connected to your yoga practice. 1) Connect to Nature Every time I move my yoga practice outside, I notice something new. Last summer, I noticed dragonflies. Dragonflies at the festivals in Boulder, dragonflies at Red Rocks, dragonflies in my backyard. They were everywhere, and it was beautiful! After seeing more dragonflies than I remember seeing during the summer, I decided to look into the symbolism of dragonflies and was happy to find that they symbolized transformation. I also learned that there is an arm balance pose called Dragonfly, which in its own way transformed my yoga practice. I’m excited to see what this year has to offer! 2) Enjoy Outdoor Yoga Offerings Summer is a wonderful time to explore the festival scene or attend an outside class offered by your local yoga studio! Whether you’re out in the open on your yoga mat or under a canopy with the breeze wafting around you, the experience of being outdoors is hard to beat. If you’re unsure of how to find these options, a quick online search will yield a multitude of results. 3) Create Your Own Sequence Yoga festivals and studio sponsored outdoor yoga classes aren’t the only way to take your practice outside. Just going into your backyard and creating your own class is a wonderful way to connect to nature and embrace the beauty of the season. If you don’t feel like doing a full class or are looking for some inspiration, my three favorite poses to take outside are Tree, Bird of Paradise, and Airplane. All of these are balance poses that draw strength from the core and require grounding your energy into the earth in order to rise up and soar. In Tree pose, it’s essential to draw your energy into one foot while bringing the other foot to your ankle or thigh. Starting with your hands at heart center, slowing extend up, reaching to the sky and opening wide. Hold for as long as feels best for you…drawing in the strength and flexibility of a tree. Bird of Paradise is a binding pose that allows you to wring out all that’s no longer serving you and lift one foot off the ground, embracing the beauty and grace of a bird as well as the flower the pose is named after. By folding forward and wrapping your arms around the inside of one thigh and behind your back, you come into the bind. Next, draw strength from your core and lift the bound leg off the ground, staying rooted through your standing leg. Airplane allows a true feeling of drawing in grounding energy in order to soar and find the balance within. Drawing your weight to one foot, slowly start to hinge forward from the waist, extending your arms to the side, and lifting off your back foot. Staying centered through the hips and core, hold and feel the air move around you. You can also use Gaiam’s Yoga Studio App or Gaiam’s downloadable Yoga Rising series to enjoy a guided yoga class. Embrace the season by connecting your yoga practice to the great outdoors. Allowing a gradual connection to the world around you by embracing the moment with all five senses and acknowledging the other living creatures around you—whether they are dragonflies or bumble bees!



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