Itinerary #7: Outdoor Yoga
Picture this: the full moon slowly rises over the placid Hood Canal, illuminating the rugged Olympic Mountains as you slowly exhale and relax into your dancer's pose.
Outdoor yoga is something we can get excited about. Leaving all the electronics in the dust and taking our poses into new terrain is a welcome challenge and highly recommended for anyone who owns a mat (or doesn’t yet!).
Although there are a number of yoga classes offered in Hood Canal, we find that it’s just as exciting to find a serene spot in the woods or on the shore. The rich, misty woods smell amazing when you slow down enough to appreciate them, as does the salty, bracing shoreline. Read on for tips and tricks for taking your practice to the next level.
Have a Game Plan
At the risk of sounding counterintuitive to the free-flowing nature of outdoor yoga, it’s important to hone a few of your favorite poses under the guidance of a certified instructor. This can help reduce the risk of injury when you’re on your own.
There are several yoga classes offered in Hood Canal, and our favorites are at Joonbug Yoga in Shelton and Alderbrook Resort & Spa in Union. Joonbug Yoga offers a number of weekly classes, which Alderbrook supplements with weekly and monthly classes. We recommend planning a trip to coincide with both!
Every Tuesday in November and December, a certified yoga instructor from Joonbug Yoga guides a stretching and exercise-focused practice in the heated indoor saltwater pool at Alderbrook. It’s free for resort guests, $10 for non-resort guests, and takes place from 10-11am. As if you needed another reason to swing by Alderbrook!
Additionally, every Friday a local Yogi guides a waterfront practice in the glass-enclosed waterfront pool house from 10-11am. As with Tuesday’s session, it’s complimentary for resort guests, and $10 for non-resort guests.
Take Om Into Your Own Hands
There’s an amazingly satisfying and curiously primal aspect to practicing yoga on your own, outside a studio. Break loose from the structure of a guided practice, step onto uneven ground, grab a beach towel or Mexican yoga towel, and enjoy!
Just as a traditional mat doesn’t translate too well outside of the studio, neither does music. Unplug: leave the noisemakers in the car and embrace the nature-sounds. Though it might be a bit harder to concentrate with the unpredictable bustle of the woods or the shore, welcome the challenge and adapt accordingly.
Focus on balancing poses rather than down dog holds or vinyasa flows. The uneven ground can be hard on wrists, but an engaging challenge for the fast-twitch muscles in your legs.
Above all, be open-minded and allow yourself to explore your yoga practice in a new environment. Be sure to prepare well for a session outside with plenty of warm clothing if you choose to practice in colder temperatures, and sunscreen during the sunnier months.
We can’t wait to see what awesome poses you get into in our glorious backyard! Please share with us using #wildsideWA for a chance to be featured on our social media pages, and sign up for our newsletter to receive email exclusives and special lodging discounts.