'Tis the season for bikinis, gal pals, summer love, and of course, yoga on the beach! My heart would explode if I added one more of my favorite things to that sentence. Oh, and Froyo! How could I forget my favorite sugary frozen treat?! OK, I've literally exploded with happiness! This is my season and my summer to shine, I just know it.
How lucky am I that I live in such a beautiful place and I have already been given the opportunity to teach yoga on the beach three times in the last two weeks?! AND and it has been ideal weather every single time, thank goodness!
I certainly have learned and picked up on some things during my experiences as there are some do's and don't when prepping for yoga on the beach. Here's my two cents:
- "I have Sand EVERYWHERE!" Well, yea it IS the beach, but I get it. Your body is movin' and groovin', we are down and then we are up, a gust of wind comes from the east, and you want me to twist how?! Mother Nature combined with physical movement will surely not let leave you sand free or primed for a dinner date after a session with me, so embrace the notion that you will get a little messy! Sand, sweat, salt water...be ready for it and take it all in! If you're lucky, I'll help you out with a ice cold Lemon-Echinacea head towel when you are done :)
- WATER. Seems like common sense, yes? Keep your yoga instructor close and your water closer! #hydrate
- "My feet are on fire!" You brought a large black LuLu Lemon mat that is radiating heat from the sun beating down on it. Yea, my feet would be burning too! Ouchie! My advice? Pick up a $10 mat from a store that is your designated beach mat. In a light color. This way you drop the concern of your mat getting ruined with water and sand and you save your feet pads a scorcher! Your instructor may have extra mats you can use as well, so don't be shy - speak up and ask for what you need to enjoy your practice and to practice safely.
- "I can't forward fold Kate, I have a MAJOR wedgie..." On Mother's Day, my sister came to visit (heart explosion part 2) and we were prepping to leave my house for yoga on the beach. She came out of my room in a CUTE one piece I had her try on that she looked gorgeous in. AND it covered just half of her peaches. When I reminded her of flow time, after I told her she looked beautiful, she opted for the full coverage bottoms. Point being - dress for success and comfort for your beach practice. You could also channel your inner Gisele Bundchen and let it ride (literally) OR perhaps you wear cool clothing and bring your favorite Brazilian piece to change into after you flow. We all love bronzed cheeks in the summer!
- "Sunscreen is your friend..." What was that super weird song in the early 2000's that was five minutes of some guy talking (not singing), giving us life advice? Yea, well he was right. No reason not to put in on, right? You are turning and twisting, hopping and savasana-ing, so lather up! You are exposing delicate spaces while you move and you don't want to end up looking like an old Florida retiree, so just put it on. Plus, you want to be ready to roll for your next beach yoga session!
- "But, there's no beach to practice on..." CHECK THE TIDES! Make sure you are heading out when the tides are low and there is plenty of beach to lunge around on :) Your instructor will hopefully think of this, but if you are the leader of your pack getting the group together, be mindful that tides roll in and out, so plan accordingly!
- Dig in! The sand is certainly not flat, so create a safe space for your practice by leveling out the sand with your feet before you begin. Your balancing poses will thank you!
Most of all, I have learned to have fun! Yoga doesn't always have to be some emotional drama or spiritual awakening of the soul. It can be fun and care free with no attachments!