Wild Yoga in the Wild West

I had the opportunity to join Steph and Kelli last Thursday for Wild Yoga. Where “old west” meets “new west,” this experience truly offers the best of both worlds. Guests have the option of riding horseback or hiking out the the serene outdoor yoga spot.

I opted to hike with Kelli, but many of the guests chose to ride with Steph. (Chaps over yoga pants: now there’s a unique challenge – and a unique look!)

Both routes provide scenic vistas and a serene experience. The destination: a small cluster of outdoor yoga platforms, nestled neatly in a shady aspen grove.

Kelli is trained through YogaFit®, the philosophy of which takes an inclusive approach to yoga. Hers is a mixed-level class accessible to folks at any level of fitness or ability. Though a former dancer, I am not as strong and flexible as I once once. I found the class challenging but encouraging and was easily able to follow the modified poses when needed. (Over my shoulder, I watched the obviously more experienced yogis of the group maximize the movements to match their more advanced capabilities.)
The flowing sequence was a gentle challenge to both my mind and body. Though the bugs were not bad, the occasional buzzing in my ear or tickle on my ankle was as additional challenge – a reminder to stay centered and focused and not give into distractions.

At one point, we had a surprise visitor. A deer circled by our site. He stopped when he noticed us, but eventually moved on. I guess he figured he was safe, us being yogis and all.

Tree pose was my favorite – standing tall and lifted, imagining being rooted into the ground, maintaining center and balance – it really does take on new meaning when you are encircled by a family of aspens.

We finished the class gently, laying on our backs with eyes closed in the rest position. What a treat to relax like that, feeling the dappled kiss of the sun through the canopy.

Afterward, as the riders mounted their horses and we prepared to hike out, I took one last look around. I felt calm, focused and restored. What a great way to begin my day!