Isn’t it lovely that the weather is warming up!
In Queensland we have a wonderfully mild winter, and the hardy souls only usually drop swimming for a couple of months if that! Not being very much of a hardy soul I love it when there is a warmth to the atmosphere, while the breeze is gentle and caressing, just before the sun reaches that harsh glare of summer …. It’s the perfect time to take our mat outside and head to the beach.
Asanas down by the sea have a wonderfully calming effect on the mind. Even before we start our practice, simply being in nature soothes our nervous system and quiets the mind. In fact, studies have shown that exercising outdoors, especially down by the sea, reduces stress, tension, anger and depression.
Doing asanas by the sea means that we are able to breathe in the fresh salty sea air which is full of vital nutrients and good for our immune system. Many years ago I met a man who had chronic bronchitis for many years and the doctor, having had him on all sorts of medications, finally declared him a most unusual case and that all medical avenues were closed. He advised him as a last resort to try breathing deeply down by the sea. This man said it was the best thing he ever did! His bronchitis subsided and he was able to manage it with deep breathing of fresh sea air.
These days, ‘salt caves’ are becoming a popular natural therapy for the immune system. In a salt cave we simply spend time relaxing in a room which has salty air being injected into it. The beach is the free and natural alternative and asanas by the beach have the added benefit of complete yoga breathing – sending the healing air deep down to the bottom of the lungs.
Practicing our asanas down by the beach is so enjoyable. We can feast our eyes on the rolling waves and fluffy clouds passing by, and if we are able to find a beachside tree we can look up through the branches and leaves and enjoy the shelter from the sun. At our Yoga Asanas by the Sea on Saturday morning we are sometimes treated to playful, cavorting dolphins and breaching and spouting whales.
An added benefit from taking our practice down the beach or near it is that the surface is rarely dead flat so our balance is improved as we strengthen our postural muscles to hold us steady in our standing poses.
I hope you will join Andrew down by the beautiful Burleigh Beach some Saturday mornings at 8am in Justin’s Park! It’s always a great time with the fresh sea air, relaxing yoga asanas and meditation, and healthy, delicious bliss balls from our friends at Kiss The Berry Burleigh! Find out more information about the class here.
By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training