Beach Yoga: The Good vs. The Bad

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Image via Vogue Spain Archives

Image via Vogue Spain Archives

Yoga on the beach sounds glamorous, but is it what you would expect?

Beach yoga has the potential to be a beautiful, emotionally detoxing experience if you embrace the good, and prepare for the bad. Leave your bag behind, opt for a towel rather than a yoga mat, and slather on the sunscreen. Here's what you need to know about taking your practice to the beach...

Beach Yoga: The Good

The sand, the sun, the breathing, the support. Yes, the support. Sandy beaches are oh, so supportive for your joints making beach yoga an ideal practice for anyone with weak joints, or anyone who tends to struggle with balancing postures. Your body sinks into the sand, and you get a chance to focus more deeply on alignment, muscle stretching, and opening space in your body through breathwork. 

Planting your practice on the beach also exposes you to an influx of negative ions—which help improve mental clarity, enhances focus, boosts your immune system, and helps relieve allergies. If that surge of positive energy isn't enough for you, the light exposure to vitamin D will help boost your energy, and overall bodily health even further. 

What's the best type of yoga to do on the beach? Anything that focuses on breathing, balance, and alignment. 

Beach Yoga: The Bad

Burn, burn, burn. Holding your yoga pose for two minutes might make your muscles burn, but that won't be your focus if you forget to put on sunscreen. The sun in beachy areas is typically super strong, so plan accordingly by making sure you slather on a thick layer of sunscreen to avoid painful burns later.

Do you know what other burn you'll need to prevent? The burn from scalding sand. Grab your biggest beach towel (you'll want to feel free to stretch out and take up as much space for your postures as you need, so don't get locked into a small space with a small towel). Make sure you tuck in the corners of your towel so that it doesn't get blown away in the wind.

The wind, just like the sun, is strong. Instead of being annoyed with chunks of your hair flying around, make sure you have your hair tied up so that it stays out of your eyes and face. If you're missing a hair tie, a quick fix is to run into the water to get your hair wet. Wrap your hair into a messy bun and tuck it into a knot—the saltiness of the water will help your hair stick together more easily, giving you an all-natural, messy bun with no hair tie at all.

Wear form fitting clothes (if you choose to even wear clothes at all), and be mindful of tan lines! You might not want to wear a t-shirt that creates strange lines that will show for the rest of the summer season. And lastly, make sure you bring a water bottle that can be fully closed—you don't want to be drinking flecks of sand. 

Diya SenGupta