Friday, November 13, 2015

Fresh Turns, Fresh Mind

Yesterday morning was just magical.  It's been snowing up on the mountain and the excitement is tangible after the dismal season we had last year.  I was due back in town to teach at noon so I planned on an early tour up the Palmer with Morrison.

Alpenglow from the White River
I skinned up the CAT road with Mr. Morrison romping ahead of me gleefully.  We made it nearly to the top of the Palmer by turnaround time.  A little canyon on the west boundary of Timberline provided a ribbon of swishy pow turns and cornice drops that took me right back down to the lodge... But this isn't really a post about skiing.

It's about going somewhere beautiful, feeling the sun and the wind and the crunch of the snow.  It's about taking the mindfulness of yoga out into the world.  I went up there alone yesterday to do meditation my way.  Sometimes meditation is stillness and silence, but it doesn't always have to be.  This time it was the rhythm of my steps, matched with breath.  The sensation of the chilly air in my lungs and being surrounded by overwhelming beauty.  This time it was about movement, quads burning as I slipped along ridges and between rocks, picking a path that traced the earthen curves of the mid-mountain.

What a stud
A morning like this was like hitting a reset button.  With every step, some nagging stress fell out of my mind and was laid to rest in the snow behind me.  By the time I was on my way down, all I felt was the simple sensation of joy within a peaceful mind.

Picking his line

Yoga is about a connection between the body and mind.  Go play outside, be active, see something beautiful, find joy in the day to day, consciously connect with the natural world.  Take time to nurture yourself in a way that makes you feel whole and strong and brings you peace.

Take your yoga with you.
Find your meditation.

Get off your mat!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Changing it Up

The blog has a new name and a fresh purpose!

Since my last post, plenty of new and exciting things have happened.  I've become a certified yoga instructor, have been teaching classes since March and, among other things, I suck way less at running! 

As I work to make yoga a bigger part of my professional life, I want to expand the purpose of this blog to include more than just fanciful stories of mountain excursions.  Obviously outdoor adventures will always be a big part of my life and wont be absent from the blog, but you'll begin to see some more variety in the content.

"Get off Your Mat" is the embodiment of how I strive to live my yoga.
There's the physical asana practice that most of us attach to that little rectangle of rubber in a tidy studio space.  Then there's the rest of yoga that winds itself through the other 23 hours of our day.

My challenge to myself and to any growing yogi to "Get off Your Mat" is a challenge to take your yoga with you.  Romp in the dirt, connect with Mother Nature, practice outside, breathe the fresh air, meditate by the ocean, think outside of that colorful rubber box.  Take the love, the compassion, the peace with you to work, to school, on dates.  Live your yoga, take it with you...

Get off Your Mat.