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Dolphin Pose with the Dolphins

Itís mid-July and whether you are prepared or not, itís bikini season. Many of us flock to the shore in the summer, and us yogiís experience a little bit of separation anxiety from our local studio. No need to panic! Just remember to pack a big blanket, yoga mat, and sunscreen, and your yoga practice is beach ready!

First, you will need to plan a routine. If you are a beginner, memorize a simple sun salutation. You can find a good description of a sun salutation here. If you have a favorite pose or two, you can work it into your sun salutations. If you watch yoga dvds regularly, you might already have a routine memorized!

The early morning hours are more conducive to yoga practice than say, high noon or mid-afternoon. From dawn until about 8 am is ideal: the earlier the better. The heat is lower and sunlight less direct. Plus, the beach will be less populated! Humidity is higher in the morning and the closer you get to the water. That humidity will help warm your muscles for a deeper stretch and release toxins via perspiration. Daybreak on the beach is serene: beautiful fresh sky, waves crashing on the beach and seagulls overhead. The sounds are relaxing. Put a blanket down, and a yoga mat overtop. The dynamic nature of the surface of sand will make your shoreside practice more challenging and more efficient. It will be harder to balance, and thus, the core must work harder to sustain a pose. Small muscle groups will be activated and the core is strengthened. Fresh air is always beneficial to the body and immune system, and sunlight helps to reduce symptoms of depression and prompts the body to produce Vitamin D.

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See also: YoVedic.