Practice Yoga on the Sand in Miami Beach
They say life is what you make of it and it’s certainly true of the beach: it’s an enormous, white sandy canvas on which to remake yourself everyday through the practice of yoga.
Just a couple of blocks down from Ocean Drive you’ll find a group of locals and tourists carving out a little section of the sand for their daily practice of yoga, either in the early morning, to greet the day, or late in the afternoon.
A typical yoga class involves breathing, meditation and sun salutations, although sequences in a class will vary from teacher to teacher. Sun salutations are a classic series of poses designed to coordinate breath with movement while strengthening and toning the body. Pressing your hands against the sand in some of the postures, you become grounded with the earth, while surrounded by the vastness of the sky and the sound of waves.
Unlike the confines of a studio, beach yoga opens the practice up to a wider perspective. Without walls, yoga outdoors can help you connect with something bigger than yourself. Gabriella Meszaros, a visual artist originally from Hungary, has been teaching yoga on the beach for over a year. “Yoga is very special on the beach,” says Gabriella. “It’s more spiritual. You really feel it when extending your legs to the sky.”
For some, just being outdoors is therapeutic, and after a long day at the office, unwinding with yoga instead of happy hour makes more sense. It’s a great way to transition from work and back into personal life. One yogi, who moved from the northeast to Miami only practices outdoors. “It’s the only way I get to really experience being outside and get fresh air.” Indeed, breathing deeply and in a calm, measured manner is a key part of yoga and when fresh, ocean breezes are involved, the practice is invigorating and relaxing all at once.
Beach yogis gather on the sand at 3rd street and Collins Avenue, right behind Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Park. The class is run by Synergy Center for Yoga and the Healing Arts, the city’s longest-standing yoga studio, located on Española Way and with a satellite center at Nirvana Spa on North Beach.
Whether you are new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, stop by and experience the beach a little differently! Don’t forget to bring a big beach towel. Class open to all levels and is by donation, payable to the teacher ($5 requested). Class times vary seasonally according to daylight savings time. Currently, morning classes are held at 7 am and evening classes at 5 pm. Phone: (305) 538-7073
New to Yoga?
Yoga is not a religion but an ancient art of well-being that has gained widespread popularity here in the United States in the last twenty years. Briefly explained, the word yoga means “yoking” or “bringing together” of mind, body and soul to peaceful balance. Yoga postures are excellent exercises for muscle tone, strength and flexibility while also working internally to boost organ functions. As well, don’t assume it’s all about having a lithe body that ties itself into a pretzel; yoga is also about quieting the mind, letting go of the ego and co-existing with others in this often challenging world – something we could all use.
With proper guidance, anyone can practice yoga. Don’t be shy to ask questions. Meet different teachers and take different classes until you find a good starting point from which to begin your practice. Always keep in mind that a yoga practice is life-long journey of learning. Don’t feel intimidated by more advanced practitioners; everyone is always learning something new and your practice is just as legimate as anyone else’s. Oh and most importantly, never forget to have fun!
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"Practice Yoga on the Sand in Miami Beach"