Article by Shannon Farley
From improving your well-being, boosting your energy, getting an extra workout for your muscles, and enjoying blissful peace, doing yoga on the beach is really good for you.
Studies show that being by the ocean has multiple positive effects on your health and well-being. It’s not a coincidence that doctors for centuries have prescribed trips to the seashore to improve patients’ health.
Yoga is well known for its amazing health benefits. Doing yoga on the beach is even better for you when you add in the positive effects of sea air, sunshine and being outdoors. See these nine reasons for doing yoga on the beach.
1. Exercising outdoors is good for you. According to studies, exercising outdoors in nature – especially near water – helps ease stress, tension, anger and depression, and can increase happiness, satisfaction and energy. The benefits of exercising last longer when it’s done out in nature because fresh air means the body receives a healthy supply of oxygen. Even five or 10 minutes of daily physical activity outdoors is said to make a big difference in improving our well-being. So, imagine what 30 or 60 or 90 minutes of yoga can do for you.
2. Yoga on the beach boosts your energy and happiness. Deeply breathing in fresh ocean air cleans out your lungs and boosts your energy. Salty sea air is filled with beneficial negative ions. Abundant in nature, especially around water, negative ions are oxygen atoms with negatively-charged electrons. They help your body absorb oxygen easier, stimulate your metabolism, and are believed to raise serotonin levels (the hormone responsible for feeling happy).
3. Your posture muscles get more of a workout. Your body has to work a lot harder to do yoga in the sand. It takes balance, concentration and strength to hold yoga poses on an unstable surface, so you get more of a full-body workout. Studies show that doing yoga on a sandy beach strengthens more of the muscles in your feet, knees, legs, hips, core and shoulders – which are crucial to good posture – than you would normally in a yoga studio. Shifting sand forces the body to make small adjustments in order to maintain the posture. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll gain a newfound stability.
4. Sand is a cushion. Working on improving your balance isn’t as much of an issue on soft sand as it is on a hard, wooden floor. Sand is much more shock-absorbent and gentler on your joints. You might even feel like trying out a few more challenging poses!
5. You tune into nature. In our fast-paced world, we sometimes forget how important it is to commune with nature. Humans were made to be outdoors. Doing yoga on the beach, you feel the sand in your toes and the sunshine and fresh breezes on your skin.
6. Wave rhythms help you relax. The sound of ocean waves naturally puts you in a meditative mood. One of the most important elements of yoga is breathing – creating a calm mind and delivering oxygen to your muscles. The rhythmic sound of ocean waves replicates our own breathing rhythms. Doing yoga on the beach at sunrise or sunset especially promotes this mindful state and brings a sense of peace.
7. Sunshine gives you essential vitamin D. Too much sun obviously is bad for you, with the threat of skin cancer; but too little sun can make you vitamin-D deficient, which has been linked with various diseases. Doing yoga outdoors, even on a cloudy day or under a bit of shade, gives you the essential vitamin D that your body needs to regulate calcium and phosphate in your system and to feel happy and healthy.
8. Yoga pictures are prettier. Turn your friends green with envy on Instagram with a cool pic of you doing a yoga pose with a stunning beach sunset in the background.
9. You can cool off with a dip in the ocean! Normally after yoga, you might head straight for the shower. After doing beach yoga, all you need to do is jump in the surf to cool off!
If doing yoga on a tropical beach sounds like your ideal vacation, you can book a Costa Rica yoga holiday in just a few clicks and make that dream come true.
Enjoy year-round Costa Rica yoga retreats with expert instructors, surf and yoga retreats, and sun-kissed yoga holidays at Pranamar Oceanfront Villas & Yoga Retreat on famed Santa Teresa Beach. They also have yoga classes every day at 10:00 a.m.