Finding stillness in the presence of nature is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Practicing outdoors is a great way to reap the many health benefits of yoga (vitality, increased happiness, and less stress just to name a few) while fostering a deep connection with nature. Whether you’re an experienced yogi or you’ve dabbled in Downward-Facing Dog, this guide will cover the yoga essentials for finding your flow amongst the serenity of nature.
Best National Parks for Outdoor Yoga
Summer and fall are the perfect times to explore the natural wonderlands of America’s national parks and roll out that yoga mat. Not only will you discover the most picturesque places, but the peace that comes from the sights and sounds of a cascading waterfall and feeling the wind on your fingertips during sun salutations is unmatchable.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Known for idyllic coastal beauty, Acadia is the place to be if you’re looking for a waterfront backdrop for your practice where you can breathe in the salty air and be among the first to catch the sunrise during your morning yoga sesh.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
With striking orange and red cliffs, this desert destination is perfect for a morning or evening stretch session or Yin Yoga practice where you hold yoga poses for longer and sink into your surroundings. Near the Bryce Amphitheater, you can overlook some of the park’s most famous vistas.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Find serenity among glacier-carved peaks and wildflower-filled valleys in this mountain paradise. Lake McDonald, visible from the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, is a perfect spot to relish scenic mountain views during Vinyasa.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
The Land of Blue Smoke offers one of the most iconic American landscapes for yoga with rolling hills and misty blue clouds. The fall is a spectacular time to roll out your mat or go for a walking meditation when the leaves turn red and orange hues.
Where to set up for Outdoor Yoga
Now that you’re feeling inspired to practice yoga in nature, we’ll share our tips for how to choose your space for a serene asana sequence. When exploring the national parks, you can discover perfect places to set up mid-hike where the people are few and the views are many.
Look for a flat, stable area where you can practice with or without a mat. If you’re practicing on pavement, grass, or rock, you’ll want to use a thicker yoga mat or put a towel underneath to guard it against rocks and dirt. If your desired location is a beach, test your balance without using a mat to feel the sand between your toes.
Look for a quiet, peaceful place without distraction where you can fully let go and feel connected with the natural world around you. Perhaps a quiet neighborhood park or in your own backyard . We like the towering sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park and the lapping shores of Acadia National Park for serene, scenic views. Sun or shade is up to you, just remember to bring water and sunscreen!
Under Canvas locations have yoga decks where you can enjoy an outdoor yoga class as part of complimentary camp programming or use it at your leisure. Another peaceful option is to step out onto your tent’s private deck and enjoy sweeping views while you settle into yoga poses.
What to Wear for Outdoor Yoga
We recommend wearing yoga outfits that won’t restrict your movement and provide optimal comfort during your practice. Here’s our checklist of yoga clothing that is perfect for outside practice.
- Breathable top that won’t hang over your head when you’re upside down
- Flexible bottoms either shorts or leggings
- Sports bras for women provide support for different types of yoga
- Headband and hair ties to keep hair from getting in the way
- Cozy layers like fleece-lined sweats or a sweatshirt for cooler weather
If you’re short on yoga clothes or feel inspired to buy something new during your stay, you can get seasonal activewear like lululemon leggings in the lobby tent at any of our locations.
Best Yoga Equipment for Outdoor Yoga
Yoga doesn’t require much equipment to practice and that’s the beauty of the sport. You can show up as you are with a yoga mat, water bottle, and a peaceful mindset. Here are a few considerations as you pack up for an outdoor yoga sesh.
- Outdoor yoga mat
- Yoga mat bag or strap to keep your hands free while hiking
- Water bottle
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Bug repellent
- Phone for setting a timer, listening to music, or taking photos
Under Canvas offers complimentary lululemon yoga mats and yoga blocks for you to use during your stay. So find your flow in the middle of a forest, find grounding in the grass, or simply savasana beneath the stars and find your connection with nature.