Let me set the stage . The sun is setting, the ocean waves are calm, and a yogi is able to practice headstand on the perfectly manicured sand. We have all seen this yoga picture, but has anyone really ever tried to practice yoga on the beach? Well, today I did.
The yoga class required the same materials as in a studio: yoga mat, water and a towel. The only question I had in my head was where are we actually going to practice? I’m pretty new to beach life and never spent that much time at the ocean as a kid, so I didn’t know what to expect.
When I arrived at the beach, I was surprised to find out you needed to hike down to the sand bed. A couple other yogis and I started the descent to the sand bed, helping each other through the jagged rocks. This was a great way to start class since there was already a sense of community through hiking.
As we walked on the sand, the instructor arrived and pointed us to a harder sand area, which basically means the sand was wet to create a harder surface. She wanted us to face the ocean as well, which was such a beautiful view (pic of view at the top). Why wouldn’t you practice yoga toward the ocean?
Then the instructor stated something strange. She said “You don’t have to use your yoga mat if you don’t want to. Be open to new experiences”. I took this as my cue to ditch my yoga mat. So there I was, sitting on the cold sand, next to seaweed, and looking toward the ocean.
We started with Sun Salutations, which I thought was a beautiful beginning since it was early morning and we were at the beach. As I went to go do my first Chaturanga, the realization hit that I was on sand. I needed to bury my hands and press harder into my palms to complete the pose. Then I thought, this is going to be hard. We immediately went back to Downward Facing Dog, and my hands slipped. I had to engage my core stronger than I ever had before to complete this pose.
After completing the Sun Salutations, I got into a groove with my practice. My reactions of “this is hard” melted away, and I completely forgot I was practicing on sand. I had to let go of every expectation and just be immersed in the experience.
This practice was truly beautiful and magical. Readers, would love to know if you have ever tried yoga on the beach? Or, have you worked out on the beach?