Yoga, mosquitos, and big trees

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I have been mixing things up in my workout routine lately. Instead of dragging myself to the gym to begrudgingly hammer out miles on the treadmill, I have been running outside and going to a yoga class at a studio. Last weekend I attended an outdoor full moon yoga class and, despite its being in a strip mall, the feeling was one of connection and in-the-momentness. I especially loved the moment when the full moon popped out from behind the studio building and the instructor said, "the moon has decided to join us!" I am all about connecting body and mind; breath and movement; yoga and nature. These yoga classes feed my needs for stretching and strength training but also nurture my spirit. My mind always feels just a little quieter after a class and that is exactly what I need right now.

I just finished reading Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer and I really enjoyed it. The book is a memoir and I could really relate to many of the author's struggles and experiences. In a class that she was taking, the instructor likened meditation to the tracking of wild animals in the forest. He said that, "If you're still enough [in meditation], the wild mind, the mind that isn't preoccupied with oughts and shoulds and the minutiae of life, will approach you and make itself known." How perfect is that metaphor?

A couple of weekends ago we went for a hike in a placed called Placer Big Trees Grove. It was a hassle to get there (long and windy drive) and there were big hungry mosquitos attacking us a the end of our hike. It was completely worth all of that, though. Sometimes I just need to be outside in the woods. I'll risk the mosquitos and the bears and the mountain lions to gain a little sanity. Without this kind of recess, life just might eat me itself.

Photos of Placer Big Trees Grove

Lots of BIG trees (as you might have guessed from the name of the place!):

These Western Azaleas were everywhere and they smelled amazing! I'm pretty sure that if fairies were real, they'd live here:

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