The beauty and benefits of beach yoga. By Eva Kristlova
It all started with a dog. My amazing chocolate lab, Maxi. It was nine years ago and I found myself wandering along the beach every day, taking my fourlegged companion for his morning walk. Then I started to bring my yoga mat. I would sit on the beach and practice for a few minutes (whilst also throwing a tennis ball) and these morning walks and short practices soon became invaluable. I just could not do without it!
Imagine the ever-changing scenery in front of your eyes. The beach is different every single day. From the waves and their intensity, the sounds of the sea – sometimes very gentle and at times overwhelmingly loud.
The colour of the water ranges from sparkly blue to emerald green, to cooling silver. The tides are forever changing too; the low tide uncovers beautiful golden sand and when the tide is high, we have a rocky “Smell the sea and touch the sky, let your soul and spirit fly” - Van Morrison beach.
The sun is warming on your face, the birds are singing their songs, the sea breeze ruffles your hair; we are transported to a truly magical place, for a mini retreat or holiday. I simply must share this with others! That was my intention.
Soon enough more people started to arrive, enquiring about joining me on the beach. Often, it was just me and a handful of other beach and yoga enthusiasts. The word started to spread and now we have quite a few yogis who come to the beach in any weather; we even did beach yoga in snow! The numbers grow and we now have a very solid group of regulars who will not miss the class for anything.
I started the beach class when it really wasn’t a ‘done thing’; my class was the only one on the south coast! It is amazing to see these fabulous classes popping up everywhere now, mainly due to the yoga studios being closed for so long. Here in Eastbourne, we have about five beach classes a week plus classes in the parks, fields, gardens and on the downs.
There is always an outdoor yoga class happening somewhere!
What do the beach yogis have to say?
“There is nothing more magic and powerful than practicing yoga following the rhythms of the waves, whilst being caressed by the sea breeze. If you want to experience Oneness with the Universe, try this out.” Elisa
“Beach yoga is the most beautiful mid-week gift we can give ourselves. The beach shows us a different ‘elemental studio’ of soft golden sand, crunchy pebbles, beautiful shells and sometimes balance testing rocks, where the cliffs meet the sea near Eastbourne’s sacred Holy Well. How lucky are we.” Marnie
Beach yoga benefits
The benefits of beach yoga (or any outdoor yoga if you don’t live near the beach) are too many to list. But here are just a few:
- Fresh air that improves your breathing, boosts the immune system and overall health.
- Community spirit: the classes are relaxed and friendly and often end with a paddle in the sea or even a swim and a cup of tea. New friendships blossom on and off the mat.
- Great for your mental health: you let go of your daily worries and stresses when on the beach. You really do get that holiday feel!
- Internal retreat for your whole body, mind and spirit.
- Fun! Challenge yourself by balancing on the rocks and have a good laugh when you wobble more than usual.
- Feel truly alive and immerse yourself in the elements: water (sea), fire (sun), air (sea breeze), earth (beach) and ether (the energy charged atmosphere that surrounds us).
- Vitamin D…and Sea!
They say that the energy is most potent and healing where the sea meets the land…and that is exactly where you will find us.
Eva Kristlova runs the Yoga Life Studio in Eastbourne (yogaeastbourne.com) and loves teaching outside. Find her running Beach Yoga, Sunset Yoga, Alpaca Yoga and SUP yoga… with more in the pipeline! To check out Beach Yoga Eastbourne follow ‘Yoga with Eva’ and ‘Beach Yoga Eastbourne’ on Facebook or on Instagram @evakristlova