I have the pleasure of teaching beach yoga for Yoga Neighborhood on the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod. Beach yoga can be a much different experience than yoga in a studio or other indoor location. For one, all of the senses are activated, from the sound of the waves to the smell of the ocean to the feel of the sand and breeze to the sights of birds, clouds, sunrises and sunsets, and to even the subtle taste of salt in the air. Coming off the towel or mat and on to the sand is a wonderful way to practice the standing postures. Grounding into the earth is so important for creating stability for all of the asanas. Grinding the feet into the sand provides a strong, stable base onto which one can build to experience the strength of the mountain and warrior poses. Extra stability from the sand surrounding the feet leads to freedom of upper body movement. For balance postures, a foot buried in the sand creates a firm point on which to balance. Concentrating on a drishti or focal point on the horizon without distraction not only clears the mind, but reminds one of the vastness of the ocean and the wonders of our planet. I like to guide students through the standing crane pose, however, on the beach I call it the seagull. The upward boat is also appropriate for the beach, connecting to views of moored sailboats. Pratyahara, the first stage of introversion of Pantanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga, is more easily reached with the relaxing sounds of the ocean waves and a cool sea breeze washing over the face and body. Finally, being surrounded by the beauty of nature is awe-inspiring. I am reminded that we too are a part of nature and possess an inner beauty that when accessed leads to self-love, contentment and peace.
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
Photo by Gordon Kanzer