“Yoga/Meditation/Hike” is a program that I started years ago while teaching at Santa Monica Yoga. I’ve always loved the meditative qualities of hiking and thought it would be great to create a program that would create stronger bonds between me, my students and our local community. Over the years, I’ve hosted at least two dozen hikes throughout the nearby Santa Monica Mountains, which features varied terrain and hiking trails. Notable outings have included: Malibu Creek State Park, Corral Canyon, Charmlee Wilderness State Park Solstice Canyon, Pt. Mugu and Topanga State Park–all uniquely different and easily accessible from the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. The images featured in this post were from a recent hike in Solstice Canyon on February 3, 2013. Students from my classes at various Yogaworks studios throughout the Los Angeles area attended with friends.
The groups have ranged in size, age and abilities with me encouraging everyone to make it to the top where we will always certainly enjoy a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, bucolic valley or a breathtaking mountain range. Everyone always has a great sense of accomplishment when they complete the hike. In all, it’s a good time for all who participate with lots of laughs, shared stories and the opportunity to connect socially on a personal level outside of the classroom. The hikes are followed by a session of yoga, meditation, light refreshments or lunch at the Malibu Country Mart.
Inspired by the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s (“Wherever You Go There You Are”), I will occasionally hand out a flier of his essay, “Walking Meditation” an excerpt follows:
“Try, bringing awareness to walking, wherever you find yourself. Slow it down a bit. Center yourself in your body and in the present moment. Appreciate the fact that you are able to walk, which many people cannot. perceive how miraculous it is, and for a moment, don’t take for granted that your body works so wonderfully. Know that you are ambulating upright on the face of Mother Earth. Walk with dignity and confidence, and as the Navaho saying goes, walk in beauty, wherever you are.”