By: Juliet Ramirez
As the larger summer crowds start migrating out of Yosemite National Park, a calmness settles throughout Yosemite. A great transition begins. The leaves change colors, showing yellows and oranges. The bears become more active, eating everything they can before settling in for the winter. The traffic slows down, and quiet space is easier to find. At this time, transition is strong, evident, and beautiful in the park. Is this the time, perhaps, to embrace your own transitions?
Both yoga and backpacking allow us to release the stressors of our everyday lives and face those transitions with joy and honesty. When you are in the wilderness or on your yoga mat, your focus is in the present. The physical act allows you to find gratitude in your immediate surroundings, physical success within your own body, and peace within your own mind. It allows you to take a break. This happens from doing both backpacking or yoga alone. Imagine the power of doing both together.
Our yoga teacher, Sarah McGuire provides her own insight.
“Doing yoga is one of the best ways to commit to yourself. Show up for yourself. Love yourself. It is innate as humans to seek meaning and value in the things that we do, however, too often, we see people putting empty careers, money, and materialistic things before their own self growth, love, and care. Unfortunately, these things will not bring us true happiness or abundance long term. Yoga is more than just physical postures and meditation, it is a lifestyle. Personally, I have found a wealth of meaning and purpose in my life through practicing yoga and spending time in nature. There really couldn’t be a better combination when searching to remain present, reflect, and grow to shine as bright as we possibly can. The benefits of yoga is bottomless: increased flexibility, maintaining a balanced metabolism, increased muscle strength and tone, reduce anxiety and depression, increased energy and vitality, increased mindfulness…the list goes on. When you add hiking and spending time in raw nature to the equation? The benefits multiply. We are able to reach our goals of finding true meaning of life, unleashing unconditional compassion for others and our mother earth, and harmonizing our mind and body MUCH faster by placing ourselves and our mats outside. Fresh air, tall trees, peaceful sounds, and massive mountains are here to humble us and there frankly isn’t a better setting to embrace the power of yoga.
The hardest part about all of this? Just doing it. Getting on your mat, making the time, and prioritizing in yourself. It seems so simple, yet this truly is the most challenging part. It is about time we all commit and invest in ourselves. Self care isn’t always a luxury or “treating ourselves”, it is a means of survival in this crazy world we live in.“
If peace, health, flexibility, challenge, relaxation, views, quiet, joy, mountains, valleys, or rivers are what you are looking for, a yoga retreat in Yosemite might be just be the perfect fit. What is keeping you off the mat?