I found a Groupon a little while ago for a yoga hike through hikingyoga.com. I like hiking, and I like yoga, so why not? They actually organize yoga hikes in many cities, including Dallas, Kansas City, Ft. Lauderdale, Brooklyn, San Diego, LA, the Bay Area, Portland and Anchorage. For Austin’s, we met at the Greenbelt Trailhead near Barton Springs.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, which is kind of silly since the name says it all. We started out with some intros and light stretching before hiking along the trail. Then, we would hike into the dry creek bed (drought and all that fun stuff), find a little space for ourselves and go through a small yoga practice.
I’ve never hiked this part of the Greenbelt, so it was a fun adventure for me to explore a new-to-me area of Austin. The morning’s cool temperature was perfect to get warmed up, and then the sun really started to heat up for an unseasonably warm fall day. The gravel and uneven terrain added to the challenge when we did some standing postures. It was also a reminder to me that I still have a very weak core – something I haven’t focused too much on in the 6 months since having Bear Shark.
Our teacher Chelsea threw in some partner work, pranayama and moving meditation. I don’t practice yoga outdoors very often, so it’s always a refreshing experience to hear birds and water and feel the breeze as I breathe and find stillness. The pranayama and meditation at the end was the perfect wind down as we closed the practice and hiked back to the trailhead.
Yoga hikes are seasonal here in Austin. It looks like there are a couple more happening in November, and then they’ll reconvene in the spring. No yoga mat required (or yoga experience for that matter, as these are all-level classes). You just need supportive shoes, comfy clothes and a bottle of water to stay hydrated. I’m really glad I could make it out before the fall season was over. It was a wonderful way to start my Saturday morning, meet some new people and feel centered.