Archive for the ‘hiking’ Category

Take a Hike Day

It’s been some time since I devoted a blog post to hiking. This is mostly due to the fact I haven’t done much lately, much to my chagrin. But a bad back does tend to put a crimp in things. However, that being said, I AM healing my back in part by gentle walks in the nearby Lincoln Woods in RI. And last weekend, Mike and I met up with a good friend and hiked around Bigelow Hollow in Union, CT. All easy, meandering hikes perfect for rehabbing and re-strengthening one’s back, not to mention soothe the mind and soul — frankly, my favorite benefit to be gained from hiking. Walking in the woods is incredibly meditative because one must be so present. In fact, if you’re not, you’re likely to trip over a root or something. Even the most benign of hikes requires full attention to where you’re stepping. That kind of slowing down and present attention is a gift I like to cultivate as often as possible.

Getting back into the woods made me realize how much I’d missed the utter calm that descends while I hike. Jittery nerves, racing mind, worries about all the tasks I must do … they all fade away as I breathe deep of fresh air, soak up the dappled sunlight, and take a child-like delight in hearing the rustle of fallen leaves as I walk the trails. I think hiking is the ultimate and perfect exercise. Not everyone may agree, but it suits me fine and I find that I can cultivate a feeling of vibrancy whether I’ve been hiking for an hour or for six.

November 17 is “Take a Hike” day and it’s also a Monday, which means that for many, it’s a work day and I’m no exception. Happily, I do have the benefit of working for myself and being able to shift my schedule as needed. And who am I to oppose such a lovely-sounding national day? So, I’m setting the intention to take myself over to Lincoln Woods on Monday morning and spend a little time making some noise as I walk through all the fallen Autumn leaves … and start my day off feeling balanced and calm. And I invite you to find some amount of time in which you can be outside and add some calm to your day.


Photo source:

Well, I just learned (again) what happens when one gets ‘caught up’ and doesn’t pay attention and the teachers were yoga and hiking.   The other night, craving BOTH Yoga and hiking (good thing I’m Hiking Yogini, right? ;))  I grabbed my mat and water bottle for a quick ramble in Lincoln Woods, happy that I had easily an hour before I’d have to leave the park (which closes at dusk.) Read the rest of this entry »

One of the things I’ve been learning, and with which I’ve struggled for a long time, is the concept that Yoga and Yoga Asana means much more than the one or one-and-a-half hour classes I attend.  Part of my struggle lies in the resistance to that idea.  That is, of course, my competitive and ego driven part of me peeking through. But due to an overburdened schedule which makes getting into the studio that much more challenging, I’m finding that if I want Yoga Asana, then I’d better re-evaluate my ideas around it.  And what I’ve begun to learn lately is that Yoga Asana can be found and done everywhere, even in the most unexpected places — and it can be FUN. Read the rest of this entry »

Over this past weekend, I received a call from a friend asking about some hiking dates and I realized that, wow, I haven’t been on a hike in probably two months! What happened? Life, obligations and some other fun stuff happened. But I’m overdue so I sat down last night and started thinking about the next hike and it occurred to me that this process just might be helpful to those new to hiking, and specifically new to hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

First Step:  Choosing the hike
Franconia Ridge, White Mountains, New Hamshire

Taking a break on Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains about 7 years ago.

I’ve hiked a lot of mountains in the White Mountain National Forest, but in the past few years, I haven’t made it north as often as I used to or would like to. So what does this mean? It means I need to assess my cardio/fitness abilities and make that a crucial point in determining which mountain to tackle. I work out and practice yoga, but I haven’t kept up the cardio level necessary to climb 4,000+ ft mountains with ease.  Perfect moment for yoga mindfulness — asking myself how fit am I NOW? When planning this type of hike, you need to ask yourself the same question, and answer honestly — it’s crucial to both enjoying the hike and remaining safe. Read the rest of this entry »

Hiking in the Spring offers its own unique gifts — copious mud, budding trees, and the awakening of all the little, flying, biting, swarming insects that can turn a brief stop along trail into a very annoying thing, indeed — IF you let it.

We went hiking on Saturday at Wachusetts State Reservation, picked for it’s variety of relatively easy trails … Perfect for breaking in new boots! The sun was warm, there was a slight breeze, all in all, perfect weather for a Spring hike. Oh, but the bugs! I don’t even know what kind of bugs they were, some type of fly, but they were prolific! The moment we stopped to take a break, they descended, and let’s face it, we were hot, sweaty and probably a fly’s idea of a tasty treat. Read the rest of this entry »

One of my own phrases came back to haunt me this past weekend, “Expect the unexpected” … Or rather, “Suspend expectation.”  (Mind you, I’m sure I’m not the first Yoga teacher to utter those words!) I’d do well if I took these words and embraced them on a regular basis myself … If this was a daily mantra to which I turned. I know as a yoga teacher I’ve said this to my students many a time in class, “Suspend your expectations of what you think your practice … this particular asana, should be, and simply allow it to be what it is.”  So much of our suffering, angst, worry, anxiety stems from a situation, person, or an interaction not meeting our expectations. And two things in my life — hiking and yoga — repeatedly, and continually, remind me of this bit of wisdom. Read the rest of this entry »