6 Tips for Moving Your Meditation Outdoors
Incorporating meditation into your routine goes far beyond putting your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ and shutting your eyes. The purpose is to truly connect with your breath, restore inner calmness, and gain a new perspective on situations that might be taking up mental space.
THE BEST PART: You don’t need any experience or physical tools to reap the benefits and impact of meditation.
MY FAVE PART: You can practice almost anywhere. And yes, that means outside too!
While meditation is often thought of as an indoor-only exercise, there are countless benefits of expanding your practice to an outdoor space. Not only can it deepen your practice and bring you more in tune with nature, but it can also be an easier start for beginners. So, here are my top tips for bringing your meditation outside and getting the most out of your practice:
Pick a spot that you have a connection to
Maybe it’s your favorite park by the water or perhaps it’s a little nook underneath a particular tree near your house– no matter what the spot is, try to pick a place that you’re already comfortable with or have a connection to. This will allow you to fully concentrate on your practice, rather than having to scope out a new location that you’re unfamiliar with.
Avoid extra loud or distracting areas
Meditating in nature can bring you to an incredible state of inner calmness and ground you to the Earth – but hearing construction noises or loud cars zooming past can take away from that experience.
Some of the best results I have found from meditating outdoors come from when there’s a perfect balance of subtle sounds and minimal distractions. You might be wondering how you can achieve that in an outdoor space, especially since there are elements outside your control.
Try to avoid overly busy or crowded places that you know have lots of traction. Remember that it doesn’t have to be completely silent, but it shouldn’t be a spot where sounds will take over your thoughts. Birds chirping in the background or gentle wind brushing against leaves are great background sounds that won’t completely consume your practice.
Plan for buffer time before and after your meditation
Want to venture beyond your backyard or close neighbourhood? Give yourself enough time to get there and back without having to rush your practice. Incorporating meditation into your morning and evening routine is a great way to get centred and create clarity within your mind.
If possible, try and also account for extra spontaneity time. After your practice, you might be in the mood to take a walk or just sit and enjoy your own company in nature. You’ll thank yourself for having additional buffer time before and after your meditation, even if you do end up going straight home. I personally always feel more calm and relaxed after, and sometimes even get FIRED UP for more adventures, activities, and even work.
Pack anything you need for comfort
Posture is key when it comes to any meditation, and that can be harder to achieve when in an outdoor setting. While wearing a cozy outfit is highly recommended, comfort goes beyond just what you're wearing when it comes to outdoor meditations.
Depending on your preference and location, bringing along a mat or small cushion can make a world of a difference. It might take a few test runs to figure out what works best for you, so don’t be afraid to pack what you need to really concentrate on your practice.
Set a timer in advance
So– you’ve found the perfect spot, you have your favourite sweatsuit on, and have carved out ample time to focus on your outdoor meditation. Then, 30 seconds in, you think to yourself “How long has it been?”
Setting a timer will remove the need for your mind to go down that avenue of wondering if your time is almost up or how much longer you have left before you run late for your next appointment. Just make sure you choose a sound for your timer that won’t scare or startle you.
Plus, outdoor meditation can sometimes carry our minds deep into relaxation, making it easy to completely lose track of time. Having a gentle nudge at the end of your meditation will remind you to wrap up your practice.
Allow yourself to enjoy the experience
Whether you’re new to meditation or have been doing it for years, there are always days when a practice holds extra weight. Adding the layer of moving your meditation outdoors can be tricky at first, but the benefits are absolutely endless.
Making meditation part of your daily routine is much more important than trying to achieve a “perfect” practice. Allow yourself to let go of any internalized pressure to meditate in a particular way, and instead, be present in the outdoor experience and appreciative of all that it has to offer.
Overall, outdoor meditation is a great way to incorporate something new into your routine while still carving out the time to unwind and decompress. Just remember that there is no right or wrong way to meditate, especially when you’re trying it out in a new environment.
Whether you choose to continue your practice indoors or incorporate a few outdoor sessions, the most important element is being present and showing up for yourself regularly. For anyone who would like to try meditation with me, I provide my #FridayFeels meditation every Friday morning at 8:30am EST on my Instagram.
Sending you all LOVE,