Our family took a quick camping trip to Mueller State Park near Colorado Springs, CO this July. We have a travel trailer, so it was more like glamping if I’m honest. About half way through our short trip, I noticed we were practicing some yoga concepts. Let me share them with you in hopes that you also take notice of the yoga moments while away from home.
Karma: This is an incredible story. We all know that whatever we take into the woods should come out with us, or be disposed of properly. Our spot in the park was above a gorgeous meadow. My oldest daughter and I decided to go on an exploration into the meadow, even though we could see some young girls down amongst the trees playing some sort of fort-making game. They left after a while, and Gabriela and I made our way over to their “fort”. We found a bunch of water bottles filled with dirt left in the area under the branches they had pulled together to structure their fort. Oh. Em. Gee.
We picked up all the bottles, and as we walked up the hill to the trailer to dispose of everything, Gabriela kept saying “we need to go tell them what they did was wrong! This is wrong!” She was right, but my response? I simply said “What they did is their karma Gabriela, what we do is ours.” Seriously, that was the end of it. Inside I was high fiving the universe for the opportunity to teach my kids this lesson.
Asanas: Even with staying in a travel trailer with heated mattresses and sheets and blankets, I find myself waking up as stiff as Tin Man from ‘The Wizard of Oz’. I think it is especially in these moments that we need to draw upon our yoga knowledge and expertise. What better way to move past our discomfort, and get ready for the many natural activities of a camping excursion?
My intuitive stretches when I’m in out-of-the-ordinary pain: I stand in mountain pose, and move to tree pose, then back to mountain. I engage in forward, backward, and side-to-side head rolls, then into warrior pose on both sides. I drop into triangle on both sides as well, and then finish with rag doll pose.
The other solution: a Sun Salutation practice. I mean I’m pretty sure that is why it was created right?
Pranayama: This is probably my favorite yoga practice of the entire trip. There were several hiking trails to choose from in the park, and so Saturday morning we settled on one. Our intent was to end up at water, but the girls didn’t last that long. However, we did discover some interesting smells along the way, that were only noticeable by taking very deep breaths. As I instructed the girls to stop and breath in deeply, I realized we were practicing yoga on our hike. What the what? Shhhh… Don’t tell them, just keep them breathing deeply, and reaping all the physiological benefits while walking in heat, uphill, both ways.
OM: The natural consequence of breathing deeply, and being quiet in nature is hearing the natural sounds of the universe: birds, small animals in the scrub, bugs, falling limbs, the hum of the earth. It was my pleasure to share this quiet time with my children. We are normally in a state of constant nonsensical noise. What a reprieve to be so still as to hear the earth hum.
In reflection of our quick weekend trip to get the trailer out for the first time this summer, I’m reminded of the portability of yoga philosophies. They are free too! Are we not the most blessed species on planet Earth?
If you can’t go camping with your yogis, bring a camping trip to them! Pretend to go camping during your yoga class – here’s how!