Practicing yoga in natural environment has been found to be more relaxing and effective. The beach sights and sounds stimulates the meditative state. The wind and water provide a sense of calmness and serenity. The sun and sand enable penetration of warmth and comfort. Being closer to mother Earth, will unfold unique calmness within you. Moreover, practicing on an uneven surface like sand will help build the secondary muscles in your feet, hips, knees, and shoulder joints.
Note: Press your feet and hands firmly into the sand and spread your fingers and toes to hit maximum lower-body muscle. Relax and enjoy.
Sasangasana (rabbit pose)
- Begin in a child’s yoga position–kneel down and then lower your buttocks to sit on your lower leg and feet. With your arms on the sides, lower your torso on your thighs, as you bring your head down on the floor. From this position, you can start the rabbit pose.
- Press your forehead slightly on your knees. Then, extend your arms backward and hold on to the base of your feet. Give your heels a firm hold and then take a deep breath.
- Exhale as you gradually lift or elevate your hips. Keep your forehead as close as possible to your knees and the topmost part of your skull (crown of the head) near the floor or mat.
- Contract your abdominal muscles as you hold the pose for 5 to 8 seconds, then relax.
Makarasana (dolphin pose)
- Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your forearms on the floor with your shoulders directly above your wrists. Firmly press your palms together and your forearms into the floor.
- Curl your toes under, then exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.
- Continue to press the forearms actively into the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them away from the spine and draw them toward the tailbone. Hold your head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang or press heavily against the floor.
- You can straighten your knees if you like, but if your upper back rounds it’s best to keep them bent. Continue to lengthen your tailbone away from the pelvis and lift the top of your sternum away from the floor.
- Stay between 30 seconds to one minute. Then release your knees to the floor with an exhale.
Catuspadapitham (crab pose)
- From staff posture/Dandasana, bend the knees bringing the feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Keep the arms behind your hips with the fingers pointed away from your body.
- Lean back into the arms and slowly inhale and lift the hips up towards the ceiling.
- Press into the feet, squeezing the thighs and buttocks and engaging mula bandha.
- Press down into the hands with the arms straight to lift the chest up towards the ceiling, slightly arching the back.
- If it feels safe, slowly let the head drop all the way back.
- Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths, making sure you breathe into the belly and into the chest.
- To release: slowly exhale the hips back down to the floor.
- Inhale one leg up towards the ceiling, pressing out through the heel.
Naukasana (boat pose)
- Lie down straight on the abdomen with forehead resting on the floor.
- Keep your feet together and arms extended forward with palms on the floor. While inhaling, raise your arms, head, neck, shoulders, trunk and legs simultaneously as high as possible.
- Keep your elbows and knees straight. Balance the entire weight of your body on the navel. Maintain this posture as long as possible.
- While exhaling, bring down your legs, hands and forehead to the ground. Then relax in Makarasana.
Savasana (corpse pose):
- Spread the mat on the floor. Place a bolster on the mat, with its long sides parallel to the long sides of the mat. Sit in Dandasana (Staff pose) with the short end of the bolster against your buttocks, and place the folded blanket on the far end. If you have osteoarthritis of the knees or if your legs are feeling tired, place a bolster under your knees.
- Wrap the bandage around your forehead, following the instructions for Ujjayi Pranayama. Now place your elbows and forearms on the mat. Lower your back, vertebra by vertebra, onto the bolster until your head rests comfortably on the folded blanket. Position your buttocks evenly on the centre of the mat. Spread out your arms to the sides, palms facing up, and rest them on the floor.
- Straighten your legs and stretch them evenly away from each other, without disturbing the extension of your waist. Exhale, focusing on your breathing, then lift and stretch your diaphragm, keeping it free of tension. Keep your arms at a comfortable distance from your body. If they are placed too near or too far away, your shoulders will lift off the bolster.
- Stretch your shoulders away from your neck. The centre of your back should be on the centre of the bolster, keep your abdomen soft and relaxed. Expand your chest and relax your throat. Until you feel a soothing sensation in the neck. Ensure that your head does not tilt back. Relax your facial muscles and your jaw. Do not clench your teeth.
- Keep your breathing smooth and free of tension, but do not breathe deeply. Let your eyeballs relax into their sockets, and allow external surroundings to recede. Feel the energy flow from your brain to your body body as the physical, physiological, mental, intellectual, and spiritual lanes come together. Stay in the pose for 5 – 10 minutes.
Doing yoga in fresh air and sunlight has its own benefits. Try out for your own self.