Find Your New Edge - Yoga and Hiking Trips
"Find Your Edge"
Those are the words you hear right before your leg starts to wobble in tree pose. When your arms feels like they’re going to collapse in chaturanga. At the moment you start the next asana and you think—I can’t do one more!
Finding your edge is a way of getting you out of your head and into your body, encouraging you to dig deep and discover new potential. But the phrase can apply to more than just pushing yourself physically, it can apply to any new challenge that allows you to find out how much you’re capable of.
Taking Your Yoga Practice to New Heights
After five years of guiding gentle yoga trips, DBA is launching a new and improved holistic collection with the help of our new Holistic Adventures Leader, Ela Connolly. We are expanding our program to also now offer yoga day hikes and overnights that will truly push your edge. On each trip, we will push our bodies to new limits while exploring the Catskills by summiting the tops of mountains, meditating next to waterfalls, and much more.
Most people think that yoga challenges only come in the form of physical challenges during your studio practices. But imagine beginning your practice by hiking to the summit of a mountain. Imagine centering your thoughts, igniting your balance, and firing up your muscles while you walk through the forest, or pick your way through a burbling stream.
Like yoga, hiking takes a lot of mental and physical stamina. Physically, it pushes your body in new ways and builds upon current strength. Most hiking in upstate New York is rocky and requires you to use your stabilizer muscles, the same muscles you use to balance and take that extra lift in floating half moon or grow a little taller in your tree pose. Your quadriceps and hamstrings will also get a great workout while ascending and descending the summits, which will help you sink deeper in your lunges and warriors. As you hike, the new challenges of navigating rocky trails and crossing streams will engage and activate muscles you didn't know you had, and your practice will feel that much stronger and mindful. You’ll be amazed at the changes you see when you get back to the studio. In fact, the edge you discover while hiking will probably push your edge in the studio to places you never thought possible.
PLUS, yoga class after a hike has never felt so good!
The Mental Edge
Outside of the physical body, your mental edge will get a workout while hiking as well. Hiking is a challenge and there will almost certainly be a point when your quads are burning, your calves are aching, but as you get closer and closer to the summit, you’ll start thinking about how much stronger you’re getting and how much you’ve accomplished. There is nothing more rewarding after a hard physical challenge than reaching the summit of a mountain, or getting back to the trailhead, looking back at the summit, and thinking how impossible it seems that you hiked all that way. Of course, not everyone needs to summit a mountain to feel empowered. We also offer gentler hikes with yoga practices that will still get your muscles working.
Finally, practicing yoga in the woods will get you out of your head in more ways than just the physical challenge. Feel the warmth of the sun on your shoulders as you go through your asana. Imagine being enveloped with the scent of flowers and the forest, as you center your breathing. Start your first downward-facing dog with a mountain vista stretching out before you and listen to the actual sound of birdsong instead of just a recording in the studio. Disconnect from the concrete jungle and see what you discover about yourself after a connected day in nature.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
Psychologist Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania studies the characteristics that determine a person's success, and the answer to her recent study wasn't standardized test scores or IQ. It was GRIT. Can you get out of your comfort zone? To see how your practice changes after hiking 4 miles with 1000’ of elevation change? Do you have the grit it takes to find your edge, and push your boundaries? Take your edge somewhere new on a yoga trip with Destination Backcountry Adventures.
By Ela Connolly and Jessica Tackett