A Change of Scenery


During summer, my practice moves
outside two or three days every week. My lovely man and I spend long
weekends at our cabin on an island in Northern Ontario.

This means that my practice is either
free-form or follows a DVD (until my laptop runs out of steam).

Al fresco yoga is different, even if
the asanas themselves are identical.

Here’s what I notice:

  1. Centering myself before I begin is
    completely different. Rather than shutting the world out and going
    inward, I breathe myself into my environment. I feel like one of the
    trees or the clouds. Great feeling.

  2. Life goes on around me. Rosie dog
    presses her bum into my head whenever I am close enough to her
    height. She also works diligently to occupy any and all free space
    on my mat. My lovely man forgets I’m doing yoga and offers
    breakfast, weather reports, and book summaries through the kitchen
    window. These things would drive me mad at home. During cabin
    practice, they’re as lovely as chirping birds and the sound of waves.

  3. Breath becomes more important as a
    kind of anchor when there are fewer fixed points to stare at. The
    cloud ceiling moves, the trees wave, water slurps on the shore. Steadiness comes from my inhalations and exhalations.

  4. I’m clearer about the purpose of
    yoga being pleasure. It’s easy indoors for me to drift toward
    pushing my yoga. Do more, go further, push harder. Blech. Outside,
    everything is clearer. Happier. Lighter. Good for this little soul.

Are you an outdoor
yog(in)i? What have you noticed during your outdoor practice?

Thanks to yoga for
being so portable. Thanks to you for the conversation,


Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (About All
Things Wonderful) in North Bay, Ontario.  Join her on the
and on

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