Nostalgic Roots of Yoga Outdoors
Updated: Mar 14, 2021
When I was young, I spent long hours outside. By modern standards, no doubt, my 1970s childhood would be considered deeply boring. Free as it was of the current diversions of multiple media channels, online gaming, and constant monitoring of a mobile. We had 3 TV channels, black and white when I was very small. We had books and comics, and little else to formally entertain in those days. Yet I recall it as idyllic.
I spent my young days outside for the most part. Coming home from school to “train for the Olympics” by running round the back garden. Walking for miles and hours with my dog of an evening. Planning adventures with my friends from around 10 years old to cycle along canal paths to Warleigh Weir, our destination of choice for picnic and wild water splashing, or to run up and down hills in Rainbow Woods. I got up with the lark to do a paper round and wandered miles before school. The memory of these pleasures lies dormant but when recalled are vivid and colourful, redolent with smells of nature and the sensual memory of weather on skin. I mean ALL weather, the thrill of snow, the chill of frost, the fun of cracking ice, the bliss of sunshine, the exhilaration of strong wind.
I am entirely convinced of our need for nature, on a daily basis if possible. When I teach yoga outside, I recall the provenance of the practices as a response to the deep human need to relate to the outdoors which is the legacy of our hunter gatherer ancestors. These were animists, who understood our profound, symbiotic and necessary relationship with our external environment.
Yoga Outdoors is my memoir to my childhood, a fusing of the joy of being in nature with the skills I have acquired in the years since that time. Sometimes I think it is an age, other times it is a blink of an eye. The child never forgets.
Anyway, there is nothing to beat a session of strengthening, flexibility, camaraderie, and fun in a great outdoor yoga studio. I simply cannot wait to start again.