I started practicing yoga regularly in 2003, just after I moved to Monkey Valley, a log home in the wilderness near Merritt. So for me, it seems like yoga and nature have always gone together. Doing yoga on the deck overlooking the creek and green valley below, or even in my bedroom looking out the window at a forest of trees, nature has been a part of my yoga practice. Then I began doing wilderness guide training, which involved camping out in a lot of remote places in Arizona, Colorado, and California. By then, yoga was a part of my life, so of course I would need to do my yoga practice before bed! Or early in the morning when I was out on a solo or medicine walk. As a result, I have done yoga in nature in all kinds of places, any time of day, with or without a mat, tarp, or blanket to stand on.
Yoga in the starlight is amazing, especially with the desert smell of mesquite in the air. But for some reason, doing tree pose in the dark is the most difficult! I guess it’s because of not being able to see an object to focus on. Doing yoga on a giant granite boulder at the edge of the Grand Canyon, just as the sky was turning pink, was another incredible experience. As you can imagine, doing yoga out of doors is a much different experience than doing it in a building with beautiful even floors and square edges to everything.
I wanted to share with others the wonders of yoga in nature, which is why I developed the Yoga and Nature class last summer. I also wanted to explore ways to embody the qualities of the four directions through yoga. I talked to some friends to get their ideas, and developed a class that combines yoga poses with the teachings of the four directions from the wilderness guide work that I do. I also wanted to make this kind of nature experience accessible to the people in Vancouver, so I chose to hold the class in a very special spot I know near the Seymour River. I’ve guided medicine walks at this spot the past few years, and really look forward to sharing it with the people who come to the yoga class. I hope to see you there!