Take your workout out of the air-conditioned gym and onto the warm sand this summer. After all, there's no better way to get beach-body ready than on the actual beach, right? "Imagine yourself silhouetted by the rising sun, arms raised in salute, bowing to the morning...." says Mark Oliver, the founder of YOGiiZA, the exclusive Miami wellness partner at Florida's uber-hot Acqualina Resort & Spa. "The idea of yoga on the beach can be romantic but it has challenges that are different from yoga at home or in the studio." We asked Oliver and his partner, Dawn Oliver, for their tips on downward dogging on the sand.
1. Don't Forget the Sunscreen
If you turn toward the morning sun, which is the tradition in yoga, your face will get fried, says Oliver. The ocean reflects the light and magnifies its power. It looks and feels amazing, but you do not want to ignore its side effects.
2. Bring a Beach Towel
Yoga mats do not work in the sand. Towels don’t work so great either, but once you start to sweat you don’t want to roll around in the sticky sand. "The only time I have ever seen yoga mats work was when the teacher handed out wood planks to go under the yoga mats, and it worked great, but is impractical," says Mark. Bring a towel—the bigger the better.
3. Dig Your Feet In
Sand is not a level surface. This can make any standing yoga pose difficult and potentially more prone to induce injury. The solution is to twist your feet a couple of times so they dig deeper into the sand, giving you better balance. Imagine attempting a split for the first time in your life and the sand gives out under your foot—ouch! Plant your feet into the sand for a solid footing.
4. Wear Cool Clothing
When is the last time you went to the beach wearing Spandex head to toe? News flash: plastic clothing does not breath, even if it says so on the tag. Natural fabrics will keep you cool, healthy, and in tune with Mother Nature.
5. Pack a Bathing Suit
Don’t forget your suit. When you are covered in sweat and sand and feeling enlightened, the ocean is going to call out your name. Be prepared. Jumping in the water after morning sun salutations is up there with chocolate as one of life’s greatest treats. Live the life you want. Namaste.