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Yoga on the Beach: Awesome or Obnoxious?

It took me ages to settle on the perfect yoga mat. I’m obsessed with the simple Luluemon mats at my London yoga studio, and recently have loved my Cork Yogis mat that also gives back to female empowerment programs.

So when someone suggests practicing yoga OFF my mat, I’m none too thrilled. It’ll mess up my whole groove. I won’t know what to do! I’ll slip and fall more than usual!

But trying yoga in some different environments has offered some benefits. A change of pace and atmosphere helps rejuvenate your practice with a fresh perspective. It helps you be comfortable in different situations, around different students and instructors so your practice can grow. The beach is particularly now one of my favorite places to enjoy some asanas – but there’s a few things I don’t love about beach yoga too.

Yoga on the Beach – Yay!

Surrounded by black volcanic sand and staggering jungle-covered cliffs, I decided to try out some beach yoga offered by Jade Mountain resort in St. Lucia. I was new to yoga and was answer by the authentic practice offered to our small group, right on the sand.

The experience exceeded expectations, from the gentle sounds of waves matching our breathing to the soft sand that worked well for many of the poses. The class made me book more while traveling to hot places so I could explore more sandy shores with yoga and fitness.

It’s nice to get out of regular yoga gear once in a while too. If I’m brave enough, I like to try yoga in a bathing suit or rash guard while on the beach. Linen cotton pants/trousers are lovely too and allow for good air flow.

A good compromise is choosing bathing suits with a little less cover. You might be a one-piece lady at heart, but doing some yoga on the beach can give you a fresh opportunity to feel comfortable in your skin and get to celebrate your body. Some bikinis with study straps can even get larger chested women great support while doing yoga. I love the freedom of wearing a bikini while practicing yoga – and it gives me an excuse to jump in the ocean to cool down right after!

Yoga on the Beach – Pain in the Ass

Outside, there’s lot of distractions. At at-home yoga practice or a minimalist studio I can focus on the tasks at hand, but I’m more likely to be wandering around in my mind if the setting is chaotic. Not to mention, if you want to wear a cute suit you risk sand in all the wrong places!

Also, I am not a morning person. Most yoga classes offered on the beach happen very early in the morning. Often to beat the heat – like it was originally done in Eastern civilizations thousands of years ago.

Conclusion?

It’s amazing to have a natural ambiance while practicing yoga. You can feed off of the nature and the new place to truly connect with you mind and body. I’m looking forward to future classes on the beach n Thailand and trying new environments that will deepen my connection to yoga.

Have you exercised on the beach? Have you done yoga on the beach? What do you think?

EileenCotterWright

Author EileenCotterWright

Eileen Cotter Wright is a Boston, MA expat living in London, UK. She is a freelance writer and owner of group travel site PureWander.com. Despite losing her passport the first day she left her home country, she's continued to roam the earth with gusto for about a decade. You can keep up with her hot mess adventures on Twitter @Crooked_Flight.

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