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Why beach yoga is perfect for me

It's not just for Californian insta-yogi's. Beach yoga is exactly what I need in the Northeast of England

The winters in the northeast of England are LONG…... And as much as I embrace the benefits of cold water and all things hygge to get me through, as soon as any glimmer of sunshine arrives in late spring, getting outside becomes an obsession. My studio yoga practice goes out of the window as I jump on my bike, jump in the sea, and quite literally jump for joy. So, I skip yoga class for a few weeks…. no big deal… theoretically, I'm still practising the physical exercise part of yoga. Aren’t I?

And then I start to notice. My mind becomes a little bit more scattered. I feel jittery, unable to concentrate. Those moments in the yoga studio, when my body is challenged but still and my mind is quiet, I’m able to achieve something like pratyahara (a withdrawal from the senses) or dharana (concentration) when prompted to do so by the instructor. Those moments are precious. I struggle to replicate those moments outside of yoga class.

So, my advice to myself is clear. As soon as the sun comes out, move my yoga practice outside. Any natural setting will do, but for me, it's the beach. Scientific evidence is in the process of discovering that being in nature makes us happier and healthier. And for me, the waves provide the perfect soundtrack to focus on during those quieter moments of breathing and relaxation.

When it dawned on me that I could combine my two loves- yoga and being outside, I was truly excited for the first time in a while. It felt like I got to experience the practice for the first time all over again.

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