The physical benefits of yoga are undeniable. Better sleep, a more limber body, and improved energy levels are just a few of the positive effects of this centuries-old practice. But it’s the mental benefits that can have a profound, life-shifting impact. Yoga is a wonderful tool for clearing the mind and releasing the tension that we hold in our bodies. Even a single class can yield a deep, lasting sense of relaxation and well-being.
And, when you add the sound of waves breaking at the shoreline and the smell of saltwater to the mix, you’ve got a tried-and-true recipe for utter tranquility. Here are five of the best beachside yoga poses to practice on the sand (or anywhere, of course), to soothe your body, mind, and soul.
Start your mind-clearing sequence with a gentle, detoxifying heart-opener: Supine Twist. Lie on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Place your right hand on your left knee, then extend your left arm out to your left side. As you exhale, gently drop your knees to the right. Take five cleansing breaths. Then, draw your knees back to your chest and repeat on your right side.
Cat-Cow doesn’t just strengthen and stretch your spine and neck (although it certainly does that); it’s also a fantastic pose for creating emotional balance and calming the mind. Start on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat while lifting your chin and chest (Cow). Exhale as you draw your belly towards your spine and round your back (Cat). Repeat this sequence five times, finding some natural movement in your spine and neck.
There’s a reason that Downward-Facing Dog is such an iconic yoga pose. It has a ton of health benefits, including helping to release stress and boost your mood. To practice this pose, come to your hands and knees, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Roll your toes under, lift your hips, and push back through your hands so that your legs straighten. Let your head hang heavy and loose, and breathe.
Standing Forward Fold
Standing Forward Fold provides a juicy stretch for the muscles (and the mind). Stand with your feet together, with your knees slightly bent. From here, fold your torso over your legs and place your hands on the ground in front of you or next to your feet. Alternatively, you can bend your elbows and hold on to each elbow with the opposite hand. Press your heels into the ground and let the crown of your head hang long and heavy.
A classic resting pose, Child’s Pose is a great way to relax the muscles and calm the brain. To get into this pose, start on your hands and knees, with your knees spread as wide as your mat and your big toes touching. Lean forward and bring your belly to rest between your thighs. Gently touch your forehead to the mat and extend your arms out in front of you, with your palms facing down.
Take a Beachside Yoga Class at Malibu Beach Inn
Enjoy a blissful beachside yoga class on picture-perfect Carbon Beach when you stay at Malibu Beach Inn. Classes are intimate, open to all skill levels, and led by experienced instructors. Prepare for a joyful, grounding experience in nature, with the healing power of the ocean as your guide. Looking to dive deep into mindfulness with your practice? Malibu Beach Inn works with the locally-based Mindry studio to offer guests even more classes and workshops rooted in meditation, yoga, and wellness.