Thousands of years ago, ancient yogis practiced in the footsteps of the mountains, under a tree, or even inside caves. They didn’t have access to clean and well-ventilated (sometimes heated for Hot Yoga) yoga studios with hot and cold showers and a lounge area. They practiced with what they had.
Today, we are lucky to have access to yoga studios. But should you want to enjoy what nature has so generously blessed us with, you should consider teaching yoga in the park.
Parks are perfect locations for a yoga session. It’s full of natural light, fresh air, and free access to natural sounds from the birds, bees, and the breeze. There are pros and cons to teaching yoga at the park, though. This article will explain these pros and cons and tips on how to teach yoga in the park to lead a safe and fun class.
The Pros of Teaching Yoga in the Park
You Get to Enjoy a Natural Source of Vitamin D
If you’re going to teach yoga in the park, there’s no need to reach for that pill bottle to supplement that much-needed micronutrient. You and your students can get Vitamin D from the most natural source—the sun.
You’ll Have Stronger Bones and Muscles
Practicing yoga puts stress in your joints and muscles, which can strengthen them. But did you know that when you practice yoga outdoors and get enough Vitamin D, you also strengthen your bones and muscles?
Vitamin D regulates the amount of phosphate and calcium in the body. These nutrients are responsible for keeping our muscles and bones healthy. When the body is deficient in Vitamin D, we get fatigued, muscle weakness, and physical pains.
It Boosts Your Mood
Many studies show that practicing yoga helps in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can help us gain other perspectives that boost our mood. According to research, nature has a powerful effect on our mental health.
Being in nature reduces our stress, depression, and anxiety. Spending time in nature at least three times a week for 20-30 minutes can give you all these benefits.
You Can Enjoy the Added Benefits of Earthing
In yoga classes, we usually start with centering and grounding. By doing this, we become more connected to the present moment. When you practice yoga in the park, you can enjoy the added benefits of grounding as you are close to the ground.
Earthing, also called grounding, is the concept of connecting with the electrical frequencies of the Earth. In layman’s terms, we connect with the Earth with our physical body. According to this paper, earthing can give us electrons to reduce our pain, improve our sleep, and boost our overall wellness.
You’ll Get More Inspiration
Ancient yogis came up with yoga poses by observing their surroundings. The circumstances and objects around them inspired them. When you practice yoga in the park, you will be inspired by nature, just like the ancient yogis.
For example, you can embody the stability and stillness of a mountain as you do Tadasana.
Teaching and practicing yoga in the park comes with many added benefits. But when there are pros, there are also cons. Here are the cons of practicing yoga in the park.
The Cons of Yoga in the Park
The Weather Can Be Unpredictable
The weather is something we don’t have control over. When you teach yoga in the park, you can’t be sure when it will storm or snow. Sure, there are weather predictions, and you can schedule the class when the forecast says there’s only a 10% chance it’s going to rain or snow. But since it is a prediction, it’s not accurate.
There Might Be a Crowd
The park can be vast and wide. But it’s still a public place. There’s a good chance a crowd will show up uninvited and may distract you from your yoga class.
There Are No Facilities
Another disadvantage of doing yoga in the park is that there could be no facilities available or sometimes it’s too far from your spot. What if you or a yoga student has to pee in the middle of the class?
As you can see, doing yoga at the park has more pros than cons. If you are going to teach yoga in the park, here are tips on how to do it to avoid the cons.
Tips on How to Teach Yoga in the Park
Make Sure the Location Is Accessible
The park where you hold your yoga classes should not be too far from the students’ homes or offices. If it’s too far, it will affect their participation. They might not be able to keep up with the routine of attending your classes if they have to travel far to get to the location.
Accessibility also means the location is close to facilities such as toilets and showers. Some students need to pee during class, and others will want to take a shower after.
Think of an Alternate Location
Even when the weather prediction shows that it’s not going to snow or rain during your scheduled class, there’s always a chance that it will. Always think of an alternate location in case it happens. Better yet, teach yoga in the park with pole tents or frame tents, or even the open function halls in the park.
Consider the Aesthetics
Yoga studios are designed to provide Zen. Parks can be full of trees and chirping birds. But there can be off-putting aesthetics, too. Pick a spot in the park that is away from these. Choose an area near beautiful flowers or trees.
Choose a Spot Away from the Noise
Parks are public places. There will be other people. There will be children crying and dogs barking. If it’s near the street, there will be cars honking. Choose a spot in the park that is away from all these noises.
Bring the Right Props
Since you are not in a yoga studio, it’s crucial to bring your props. Ask your students to bring their yoga mats. But as a yoga instructor, get an extra or two for some students who might forget to bring their yoga mats. Also, it’s best to ask them to bring older and inexpensive yoga mats and props. The ground may not be suitable for their expensive yoga gears.
Hydration is essential. When teaching yoga in the park, ask your students always to bring water. Temperature and humidity can be higher outdoors, so they need to drink water and stay hydrated.
Use Sunblock and Insect Repellent
There are many insects in the park. Remind the students before coming to wear or bring an insect repellent with them. Also, remind them to wear sunscreen as the sun can be harsh on the skin.
Consider the Surface
Surface in parks may not be flat and sturdy enough for some yoga poses. Adjust your sequence accordingly. If the surface is not flat, avoid teaching inversions. Teach more basic and gentle poses.
Teaching yoga in the park has added benefits. But it comes with some downsides. The key to teaching an effective yoga class in the park is preparation. Make sure you and your students are prepared before coming to class.