The weather’s been glorious this week. After a lovely, mild winter, we have launched straight into late spring!

Ordinarily I would say “this is why I live in Virginia”, but it’s been very warm in New England this week too. They must be even happier!

Instead of sheepishly driving myself to the gym to work out on a machine yesterday, I took advantage of the sunshine and did something I’ve never done before: practiced yoga outside!

I had been wanting to try this for a long time and it was great! It was really nice to practice while listening to all the birds (no lawn equipment running, fortunately), but my initial concentration was distracted by finally getting more of a close-up view of all the weeding I’ll need to do if I ever want to put flowers in around my deck again. (I haven’t touched anything garden-related since last July.) Setting aside those thoughts to focus on my yoga was good practice in meditation and mindfulness, though!

Hot vinyasa yoga is a pretty popular fitness trend these days, but Charlottesville only has a Bikram studio. Bikram yoga is a very specific style in which you do a sequence of 26 poses (twice!) in a room heated to 105 degrees. I haven’t tried it and I don’t know that it would be a good fit for me, but I am definitely curious about it. At any rate, practicing yoga in my sunny 80-degree backyard was a nice change of pace and (maybe!) a hint of what hot yoga would be like — that is, if it were even hotter, I wasn’t 9 months pregnant, and could really do a vigorous practice. Heh. I hope to be able to do more early-morning outdoor yoga this summer once baby and I settle into a routine.

Speaking of vigorous practice, I’ve noticed my perception of effort has really changed in the last few weeks. What looks on the surface to be a pretty gentle, easy practice is VERY challenging to me now. While I’m looking forward to feeling like I have my “old” practice back, right now I am happy with where things are — I am working VERY hard with each sun salutation and warrior pose. It might not look like much, but trust me. It is!

It’s supposed to cool off this next week (no more summer preview!) but hopefully I’ll get in a few more backyard yoga sessions before the end of my pregnancy — even if it’s just a few forward folds and down dogs. That’s about all I need these days anyway!