Yoga And The Great Outdoors – Your Zen Life

Yoga And The Great Outdoors

Mar 1, 2015 Contributed by: Charlotte Dodson
dancers pose

For those of us who enjoy the combination of fitness and outdoor activities, how can we stay in shape while simultaneously keeping our internal body systems warm and fully-functional as the winter season approaches?

During wellness weeks for Pinetrees Lodge on Lord Howe Island, I teach the last class of the week near the base of Mount Gower mountain – a majestic area with ocean views –  at a spot called Little Island. Situated a short walk along a disused road, this is a rewarding trek for anyone. The track passes in and out of the palm forest, and at the end of the path, the vegetation forms a tunnel to walk through-and-under.  At Little Island, I have spectacular views, both of the cliff walls above, and the ocean beyond.  As I look up at the cliffs and mountain top, the epic scenery reminds me – much like the ‘mountain-top’ pose in yoga – to stand tall and proud, and to hold my ground. The glimmering ocean water views teach me to flow with my practice (and with life itself); and as the birds float in the air-streams – which mirror the ebb and flow of the ‘crow pose’ – I’m reminded of the importance of my freedom to make choices and adjust with every up and down of my individual journey. As a turtle swims by, I see the connection to the ‘turtle pose’, which teaches me to turn inwardly and accept “what is”, without judgment. It’s during these moments when I truly come to appreciate how the combination of yoga and the outdoors assists an individual in reflecting the beauty that exists everywhere, both within and without.

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