Outdoor Yoga Might Be For You, Too

Dr. Angela Seabright
Dana Blankenship

| 4 min read

We tried outdoor yoga so you don’t have to.
Just kidding. We all had a great time doing outdoor yoga overlooking the Detroit River. The General Motors Renaissance Center in Detroit hosts regular, free rooftop yoga sessions where anyone is welcome to practice and learn during their lunch break. Our group ranged from regular yogies to newbies, but we all gave it our best. Here’s what we thought:
Sarah: “With the exception of gym class in high school, I had never really done yoga before. The session definitely gave me an appreciation for the strength, balance and flexibility of the people who make yoga look easy. Although not particularly flattering, the poses and stretches are awesome stress relievers. The view was incredible and I loved getting some fresh air with friends in the middle of the work day.”
Alyssa: “I have tried yoga twice before, but never on a rooftop, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Throughout our session, all I could think about were my shaking muscles and everything that hurt. Overall, yoga was much harder than I expected it to be and requires a great deal of strength and endurance. I would do rooftop yoga again, though. I really like the outdoor, scenic atmosphere that made me feel more empowered and connected to my body and nature.”
Devin: “I’ve done yoga enough times to know that it’s a lot more than just laying down and breathing. I loved Yoga Dan. Not only was he funny, but he was also very engaging for the whole yoga session. It was such a good way to break up the day and get a good workout in. I would definitely go back.”
Josh: “I have practiced yoga before during AmeriCorps, where we were required to do physical training every day, so yoga was usually part of the workouts. I think yoga is a bit tedious, though. My ideal workout is upbeat and energetic, especially if music is involved. I still think the yoga session was challenging when I tried doing the exercises correctly, and I liked that. I also loved when the instructor would say ‘find the calmness in the chaos’ as we were doing the strenuous poses. That’s something that is relaxing and empowering to those who are trying and it had an effect on me.”
Dana: “As someone who has never done yoga before, I was not sure what to expect from my first-ever session. What I did take away was a sense of relaxation and rest from an otherwise stressful day. I never knew how much strength and focus it takes. I have a new admiration for all those who practice yoga regularly now — you really have to put in the time to nail down poses.”
Lucy: “I’ve done yoga before, but never outside! It was really relaxing, especially in the middle of a work day. I could have done without the sweating — but overall I felt more relaxed and focused afterwards. I usually don’t prefer yoga but something about doing it outside cleared my head and was a lot more relaxing.”
Gretchen: “I regularly practice bikram yoga inside a studio, so I was excited going to this because I had never done yoga outside. I loved Yoga Dan, because I feel like the instructor has such an impact on each class and he had a great presence. Having the view of Detroit in the background was also great, it was a nice change to breathe the fresh air.”
Phil: “I had never participated in a yoga class before so I was a bit out of my comfort zone. I thought Yoga Dan embodied the relaxed nature of yoga. He didn’t pressure anyone and encouraged participants to go at their own pace. I really enjoyed being on the rooftop and came out of the experience feeling very relaxed and stress free — until I returned to the office. I would definitely try yoga again and would recommend it to anyone seeking an outlet to relieve stress.”
Photo Credit: Alyssa Hadrych and Sarah Messer, A Healthier Michigan
What do you think about outdoor yoga? Let us know in the comments!
If you enjoyed this blog, check out these yoga posts as well:

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