A few nights ago I had the pleasure of teaching yoga outside to a local Mom’s group. For a summer evening, the weather was perfect! The sky was clear and it was much cooler than the usual Washington, DC hot, humid nights we’ve been accustomed to lately. The location for the yoga class was amazing – Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria, VA which is a historic spot about 10 miles from DC. There were 9 of us enjoying the lush green space and open sky.
For me it was a nice reminder the beauty of yoga is it can be done anytime, anywhere. No yoga studio required. And in my case as a private yoga and corporate yoga teacher who is usually confined by walls in homes and offices, there was an unlimited sense of freedom. I often do my own personal practice outback of my house on our slate patio but this particular night offered a different vibe in this historic “green” space.
Rather than reaching for the ceiling, we could literally reach for the sky. Or instead of rooting down simply into the floor/ground below, we truly could feel the earth below our bare feet. Being out in the open surrounded by lush green and an open sky was a nice reminder that nature is powerful medicine.
Another thing that can be powerful medicine is saying YES to YOU and no to others. I didn’t realize until the group arrived and I met each student that they were all working Moms. So it seemed appropriate to share a Paulo Coelho quote I was reminded of earlier that same day: “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”
We often forget that in order to give to others we need to also give to ourselves. If we don’t our bodies eventually will begin to feel physically fatigued, mentally depleted and emotionally drained. And just as our bodies need food for energy, our souls need nourishment to feel alive and thrive.
Anywhere, anytime do the things your heart calls out for. Take time for you! Even a solid five minutes a day of sitting in solitude – without text and email – and breathing can do wonders for your soul. Even better, do it outdoors if you can.