Every year, around 16 million Americans will do Yoga. An industry that is around $5.6 billion dollars a year, Yoga is incredibly popular. Whether you are an expert or you have recently picked it up, Yoga can provide for you a wide range of health benefits. Increased flexibility, strength, meditation, mindfulness, less anxiety, and less stress all result from doing Yoga regularly. In addition ,Yoga can be done just about anywhere. One great place to do Yoga is at the beach. A calm, beautiful setting defined by the rolling waves and the sweet tangy air, the beach provides the perfect place to engage in your practice. To help you out, we have included some of the top Yoga poses and stretches to do at the beach.
Before we get into the poses and stretches, let’s review a few quick tips that will make your beach Yoga even more rewarding. First, make sure to bring a mat or beach towel. Grassy spots are not always available and the sand can be terrible for proper footing. Consider doing it at sunrise or sunset and be sure to have a loose plan in place to help get you started. Finally, set an intension for your time.
Do you want it to be long, short, extensive, difficult, or easy? Know this before you start and save yourself a lot of hassle during the process.
Lotus is a popular position for beginning, ending, and even pausing in between other more challenging positions. Providing a centering feeling that is made even better when the water is slowly coming in around you, Lotus provides a chance to appreciate the world around you and take in everything nature has to offer.
A challenging position that is none-the-less great for stretching and meditation, the Hanumanasana is perfect if you
want to impress. Requiring a great deal of practice, those who can achieve the Hanumanasana comfortably can illustrate the incredible power of Yoga, matching through their form the incredible elements and weather that shapes the beach you are on. A great way to acknowledge the raw power of nature, the Hanumanasana should be near the top of your list if you are comfortable doing it.
- High Lunge
The High Lunge is a wonderful pose to do when on a beach. Instead of using a block or other support to help hold you up, consider using mounds of sand instead. It will provide a more stable foundation that feels far better than what you may have at home. With sand as a wonderful prop, the High Lunge helps you re-engage with the world around you and be more aware of the sand that surrounds you.
- Hero Pose
Similar to the High Lunge, the Hero Pose makes use of the sand to soften the knees and improve the quality of the experience. The Hero Pose allows you to slow for a moment and acknowledge everything around you while giving thanks. It can be extended into the Virasana where you extend your arms back. Again, just like the High Lunge, you can use the sand around you to build a support that makes the entire process more enjoyable.
Also known as a headstand, the Sirsasana is perfect for the beach. Allowing you to experience a familiar setting in a new and beautiful way, the Sirsasana is softened by the sand and make easier by how your weight distributes through the material below you. This is one you will definitely want a beach towel for.
- Downward Dog
Everyone’s favorite, the downward dog is the perfect way to stretch calves and center your practice. With hips high in the air, the Downward Dog is great when you have your back to the water. Every time you drop your head, you see the silhouette of the water between your legs. A great point in which to diverge into other positions, the Downward Dog can be done high up on the beach or in the water.
Also known as Camel Pose, Ustrasana is a popular favorite on the beach for many reasons. First, the sand helps to soften the impact on your knees making the experience more comfortable. Second, the stretch is perfect for those who want to stretch their thighs, throat, and entire front of their body. Finally, Ustrasana allows you to bring your head from a back position forward, allowing you to slowly take into the world around you as your head settles again on the shoreline.
- Warrior II Pose
The Warrior II Pose provides a great stretch in the thorax, lung, groin, shoulder, and legs while also strengthening the legs and ankles. Warrior II Pose also improves concentration and allows you to direct your attention towards the water. While some consider it combative, others see it as welcoming and acknowledging the might and power of the ocean.
- Half Moon Pose
Similar to the Sirsasana, the Half Moon Pose allows you to view the beach in an entirely new way. Making use of the horizon as a point of concentration, many enjoy the Half Moon Pose on the beach because the sand helps them remains steady. Others see it as the perfect way to stretch the shoulder, hamstrings, and calves. Finally, others love it for how impressive it looks when done right.
- Monkey Pose
Last but not least, we end with Monkey Pose. Similar to Hanumanasana in how it requires you to stretch, Monkey Pose is fantastic on a beach. You can pile the sand in such a way as to meet your current stretch ability. From there, you can gradually remove more and more sand as you get lower to the ground. Eventually, you will be able to do the Monkey Pose without assistance, directing your energy towards the beautiful coast in front of you.
Where Does This Leave Us?
What is your favorite Yoga pose on the beach? Along with the 10 suggestions listed above, consider adding your own to make a routine that will bring you back again and again. Becoming fitter, more energetic, and happier, Yoga on the beach has the power to make your life better.