Salute the Sun: 8 Amazing Outdoor Yoga Experiences

PHOTO: Celebrate the summer and get in a workout at the same time.
Michele Falzone/Getty Images

Celebrate the summer and get in a workout at the same time. As this gallery shows, you can take your yoga just about anywhere outside when the sun shines, perhaps in an organized group or in some exotic destination, if you're lucky -- but also in your favorite park and with your favorite prop.

PHOTO: Speaking of props, the hula-hooping yogis of Sydney, Australia find a new but clever use for the generation-spanning hoop.
Hoop Yoga Sydney
Hoop Yoga, Sydney

Speaking of props, the hula-hooping yogis of Sydney, Australia, find a new but clever use for the generation-spanning hoop. A familiar sight at parks, beaches, festivals and yoga events, Hoop Yoga puts to rest the idea of yoga as a slow-moving meditational pastime. It's a high-energy hybrid that begs you to put on legwarmers and swap the meditational music for something more upbeat.

PHOTO: The cousin to SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) yoga, "ka-yoga" is offered in Saint Petersburg, Florida, and has the benefit of requiring slightly less coordination.
saint-petersburg.com
Kayak Yoga, St. Petersburg, Fla.

The cousin to SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) yoga, "ka-yoga" is offered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and has the benefit of requiring slightly less coordination. Instead of requiring people to pose on the flotation device, the instructor divides the kayaking-yoga parts of the workout, so you just paddle to a scenic patch of beach and then begin the stretching and posing.

PHOTO: Great news: Laughter yoga is a real thing. It incorporates yogic breathing, "childlike playfulness" and visualization, usually in a small-group setting.
Houston Laughter Yoga
Laughter Yoga, multiple locations

Great news: Laughter yoga is a real thing. It incorporates yogic breathing, "childlike playfulness" and visualization, usually in a small-group setting. It was created in the 1990s and its popularity is increasing to the point where studios are cropping up everywhere from Orange County, Calif., to Beirut to Houston. Though it doesn't have to be outside, it often is because it's, quite frankly, too loud for the normal studio environment.

PHOTO: Tassajara Zen Mountain Center bills itself as the most remote Zen monastery in the United States.
Shinchi Linda Galijan
Yoga in the Mountains, Northern California

Tassajara Zen Mountain Center bills itself as the most remote Zen monastery in the United States. Tucked in the ruggedly beautiful mountains 25 miles south of Big Sur, the center is surrounded by sea cliffs, protected forests and empty beaches. It's only open to the public for four months of every year, now through Sept. 9.

PHOTO: What better way to remind yourself of nature's thriving presence than to practice your meditations in a rain forest?
Samasati Nature Retreat
Yoga in the Rainforest at Samasati, Costa Rica

What better way to remind yourself of nature's thriving presence than to practice your meditations in a rain forest? The setting seems to attract yoga studios and students, even in quite remote locations. This rainforest retreat on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica runs "Living Yoga" rainforest retreats, Yoga in the Caribbean packages and teacher-training workshops.

PHOTO: Whether because it removes one from the hectic energy on the street or because it gives a more elevated visual perspective, rooftop yoga is ever-popular, especially when there's a beautiful horizon to contemplate
Canary Hotel
Rooftop Yoga, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Whether because it removes one from the hectic energy on the street or because it gives a more elevated visual perspective, rooftop yoga is ever-popular, especially when there's a beautiful horizon to contemplate. At the boutique Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara, guests are invited to welcome another gorgeous California Riviera weekend with a complimentary 8 a.m. yoga class on the rooftop pool deck.

PHOTO: If you're on vacation, you might be lucky enough to spend this hour in a dreamy landscape like Mirbeau Inn's Monet-inspired garden, but if not, your own back yard or community garden might be all you need.
James Scherzi/Mirbeau Inn & Spa
Yoga in the Garden, Skaneateles, N.Y.

We all know the saying, "Take time to stop and smell the flowers." How about taking a full hour to surround yourself with them? If you're on vacation, you might be lucky enough to spend this hour in a dreamy landscape like Mirbeau Inn's Monet-inspired garden. But, if not, your own back yard or community garden might be all you need.

PHOTO: One perfectly beautiful, inspiration settin for yoga is a Northern California redwood grove.
Courtesy Remy Paille
Yoga in the Redwoods, Northern California

While luxury retreats or hip, celeb-attended classes might seem like the most motivating places to practice, yogis from Hawaii to Brooklyn to Bali know how to bliss out in the moment, even on their own. One perfectly beautiful, inspiration setting: a Northern California redwood grove.

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