When the temperature heats up, it makes perfect sense to take yoga practice outside and onto the beach. Before hitting the beach, energize your senses with an aromatherapy session. The DUFMOD Island Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser and your favorite essential oils can really help set the tone, mind and body. Though sand is not the ideal surface for yoga, a full on yoga practice at the water’s edge will be a #fitspiration.
“Your balance is challenged on the beach, so you really have to engage your core more than you would on a flat surface,” ~ Kati Rae Cowardin [Yoga Alliance Certified instructor who teaches at CLAY Health Club + Spa, New York Health and Racquet Club, Harvard Club, and privately.]
You can use these poses as a full beach yoga routine.
10 Beach Yoga Poses
1. Downward Dog
Turn your back towards the sea and go on your hands and knees. Release your head and neck down between your arms and breathe smoothly and deeply as you gaze at the waves.
2. Crescent Lunge
This is one of those all-purpose poses that tests everything from balance to flexibility to strength. As you move deeper into this first backbend, visualize the backbend evenly distributed throughout the entire spine like the horizon over the sea. Hold for a few breaths and then exhale into downward dog and switch legs.
3. Prayer Twist Lunge
From high lunge, bring your palms to heart center and twist to the right, bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right knee. Engage your legs and press your left heel back and lift your back hamstring toward the sky. Take 5 deep breaths of salty air and return to high lunge with arms in prayer position. Inhale. Exhale.
4. Warrior II
From downward facing dog, step the right foot forward between the hands. Feel your feet making good contact with the sand, pressing and imprinting into the sand, and then from that, rising up into the energy of the legs. Extend the arms out at shoulder height and turn the head to gaze past the middle finger of the right hand up to the sky. Place your hands back down alongside your front foot and then step back to downward facing dog and switch legs.
5. Warrior III
Slowly shift the weight forward into the right foot and start to hinge forward from the hips, lifting your left leg up and back with hands by your sides, palms facing down as you reach for the otherside of the sea.
6. Dancer’s Pose
From Warrior III, bring your right hand to your side with your palm facing out, lift your right foot off the ground and grab the inside of the foot with your right hand. Kick your right foot into your hand to lift your leg. Let the kicking motion assist the lift of your leg. Hinge slightly forward from the hips. Reach your left arm up overhead as your chest pushes up towards the sun. Keep your standing leg straight and take five deep breaths of the salty air. Lower the leg slowly and repeat on the other side.
7. Half Moon
Balance poses are especially fun on the beach, because our whole practice is much more playful and if we fall, we fall onto the soft sand! From Dancer's pose gradually turn your head so that you gaze up at the top hand and hinge forward and root it to the sand. Extend energy through your arms and legs and out into the open beach around you. Step back to dog pose and try the other side moving to Dancer's pose into the Half Moon.
8. Side Plank
From downward facing dog, move into a plank position with your knees in the sand and roll to your right side. As you roll, reach your left arm towards the sky and root your left foot into the sand, straightening your left leg. Stack your hips on top of each other. Hold and repeat on the other side. There are many variations of this beautiful pose. Challenge yourself.
9. Pigeon with Backbend
From downward facing dog, move into a plank position with your knees in the sand and roll to your right side. As you roll, reach your left arm and chest towards the sky and root your left foot into the sand straightening your left leg. Stack your hips on top of each other. Hold and repeat on the other side.
Our final pose. As your back faces the sea, come to a kneeling position and place your hands on your hips. Use your hands to root your pelvis down into your legs as you begin to lift your chest. Move into the backbend as you gaze towards the waves. If you can reach back for your feet do so, otherwise keep your hands on your hips. Pull the tailbone actively down into the legs, take the bottom tips of the shoulder blades into the back and breathe into this incredible heart opening of ocean air.
After camel pose, come into one final downward facing dog to neutralize the whole body. Take a few minutes of lying in savasana directly on the sand, rather than on a mat or blanket, and simply receive the earth’s energy.
Dive, Dip, Swim, Surf and Diffuse!
End this practice with a refreshing splash in the water and a final aromatherapy session with the DUFMOD Island Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser. If you haven't yet brought the cool mist home, get it here and happy diffusing!
#DUFMODLIFE your beach yoga poses!