Outdoor classes add a different dimension to one's practice and pare yoga down to its original link with nature. "Yoga means 'union,' and when it's practiced outdoors it seems like the union with nature, humanity, and the universe is truly felt. Being outside can intensify the yoga experience in many ways, since nature inspires all the things you try to drive home with your practice — focusing awareness, breathing deeply, practicing stillness. Your first lesson will be learning to embrace rather than battle the elements. Nature can help to remind you that a breeze can deepen your breathing; the warm sun can deepen poses by making muscles more pliable, and a ladybug can invite you to focus on something small and still. Many aspects of yoga are in fact about being in the moment and at one with nature or the universe. That's why so many asanas reflect animals and nature. By putting your body into the shape of a tree or a stretching cat, by exploring the graceful wingspan of a bird or the fluidity of the Sun Salute, by breathing with the same cyclical sense as the tides or with an ocean sound, you evoke a sense of harmony, timelessness, and connection to the universe. When the classroom is outdoors, free of the mirrors and windows and designer clothes, the 'yoga scene' is left in the dust. The open space really expands everyone, and there's an instantaneous freedom you just can't replicate indoors.
Let me know if you're interested in a yoga class outside and in the elements. I'll be glad to take you to some of my favorite vortex spots :)