For those of you who have not yet had a chance to check out a yoga hike with Sanctuary Yoga – do it! I wanted to write a short description of the day so readers of our blog would know what to expect when they try one!
Last Saturday, I met ten other yogis at the Spyglass entrance of the Barton Creek Greenbelt for a 90 minute hike with four yoga stops. First, we stood in a circle while Jeremy, our yogi guide, had us introduce ourselves and say three words to describe how we felt before starting. Answers ranged from tired to awake, anxious to calm, but as most of us were first-timers, we were all excited!
We started our class by taking a short hike to a flat part of the rock bed in the greenbelt. Taking some time to pause there, we went through a series of standing poses to wake ourselves up and get our blood going. Jeremy then asked us to stand firm – to really feel the earth beneath our feet. He asked us to set our legs shoulder-width apart, and then helped us work from our toes to our heads to a standing position that would allow us to feel more solid and grounded (thighs turned inward, pelvis forward, chest up, chin forward). Taking this lesson with us, we hiked to our next spot!
The second place we stopped was on the rocky shore of a little pond with a great view. Jeremy led us in some partner poses (which I had never done before) that allowed us to really stretch our upper and lower backs. After another short set of yoga, we got back on the trail for a few minutes, and then paused in a circle to sing a mantra. We started together, but then took off and continued at our own pace.
Honestly, this was one of the most soothing parts of the morning for me. I never thought that something so simple as a mantra could help my mind reset so quickly, and put my body completely at ease.
Jeremy then asked us to continue moving with the ambience we had created when chanting, and we began the longest hike of the class. We made it further into the greenbelt, and found a beautiful area with denser tree cover, and some wonderful, big rock formations. Here, we were all asked to choose a leaf – just a leaf! – to sit and meditate on. We were guided to take a moment out of our day to focus purely on this one, natural, simple thing, and allow ourselves to let go of all the “other” that was buzzing around our minds. Again, this was a great chance to “hit refresh” and soothe our minds a bit after the wonderful mix of activity and mindfulness.
Finally, we walked together back to the entrance where we had started. Once again, we went around in our circle and used three words to describe how we felt: everything from hungry to awake to energized to calm.
In short, I fully recommend trying out a yoga hike on your next free Saturday morning. I felt active and awake for the rest of the weekend, and was happy to know I could take everything we’d done and put it into my daily routine. Join me next weekend!