Heath and Fitness: Yoga on the beach

During spring break, I had the privilege of going to Mexico with my mom and my sister. We stayed at Akumal Beach and Wellness Resort near Tulum, and it was one of the best vacations I have ever had. Our resort was on the Caribbean side of Mexico, so we were fortunate enough to see the sun rise over the over the ocean. The resort also didn’t allow crazy college kids on spring break, which I was happy about because that’s not really my scene. For my family, this vacation was all about relaxation (and there may have been a little bit of day drinking going on). Our resort had a lot to offer like: gourmet restaurants, snorkeling and yoga.

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This beach in Tulum, Mexico is the perfect place for yoga. Photo credit: Kelli Jones

We took a yoga class on our first morning at the resort, and it was fantastic. Normally, I don’t choose yoga as a workout because I like routines that involve a lot of cardio. My experience with yoga at Akumal Bay had a positive effect on the rest of my day. It was located at the far end of our resort in an open-air studio with a thatched roof. Yoga is always relaxing, but hearing the waves during the session made it even better.

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Akumal Beach and Wellness Resort is a relaxing beach resort near Tulum. Photo credit: Kelli Jones

Yoga on the beach? I can’t imagine anything more relaxing than that. What I would give to have a house on the beach and welcome each morning with beach yoga. I have always felt like yoga is all about connecting yourself with nature and finding a balance. The beach is the perfect place to do that; you can listen to the waves, take deep breaths and feel the salty air.

Yoga has so many great benefits. For starters, the Yoga Journal says it increases your flexibility. If you keep doing yoga your muscles become looser and it takes away potential strains and pain in your muscles and joints. I have been trying to get more into yoga because I have knee problems, and I noticed that stretching takes a lot of pressure off.

Another reason yoga is beneficial is that it improves your posture. Holding a pose and having the correct form can help you train your body and sit up straight and take more strain off of your muscles. Better posture can also help you sleep better.

One of the main reasons I love yoga is because it makes me happier. It has been found that practicing yoga helps with depression and increases serotonin levels and endorphins. As Elle Woods once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.”

After a good yoga session on the quiet beach in Akumal Bay, I can honestly say that I felt the most relaxed I have ever felt. It felt like I was floating while I was walking back to my room—floating on a cloud of sand with a margarita in my hand. After trying yoga in an open-air studio by the ocean, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it in a normal studio anymore. Why can’t Colorado have a beach?

Collegian Blogger Kelli Jones can be reached online at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @kellijayyy. Leave a comment and come back for more health and fitness posts.