Last year when I was in teacher training, I had a crazy vision. I wanted to combine my love for hiking and my love for yoga into one event – a yoga hike. At the time, I had no idea how I was going to do it or even when I would make it happen. Fast forward to a couple of months ago, the opportunity landed in my lap – my studio manager asked me if I’d be interested in leading a yoga hike for our studio. Of course, I said yes.
On Saturday, I had the chance to connect with a group of eight yogis and two other CorePower yoga teachers outside of the studio, on the trail for a yoga hike up Poo Poo Point, a moderate hike above downtown Issaquah. According to the Washington Trails Association aka WTA, Poo Poo Point is 7.2 miles roundtrip and has an elevation gain of 1,858.
We started the day meeting bright and early at 7AM on Saturday morning at the CorePower Yoga University District studio. There were 11 of us total – 8 students, 2 CPY instructors who helped with carpool to and from the trailhead and myself, the hike and yoga class leader. We carpooled to the trailhead at Issaquah High School and promptly hopped on the trail with our backpacks and yoga mats.
Along the way up the trail, hikers and trail runners coming down took notice of our large group and the yoga mats we each carried. We were constantly asked who we were with and if we planned to do yoga up at top. I kept hearing over and over again, “Yoga on top of Poo Poo Point, why didn’t I think of that?”
The energy level in our group was high. We had the hustlers at the front of the pack, making their way towards the top at a steady pace and the newish hikers at the back of the pack, taking their time enjoying the scenery around them.
Once we all got to the top, we discovered a trail work party happening where we originally planned on having our class, at the North Launch Viewpoint. Thankfully there was another viewpoint at the top, less than five minutes away. We hopped back on the trail and headed south into the trees only to find a much quieter viewpoint with plenty of sun and a beautiful, clear view of Mount Rainier. We lucked out with the weather for our yoga hike – warm weather and bright blue sunny skies.
Once we set out our yoga mats and had a quick water/snack break, I launched everyone into our hour-long yoga class. There were plenty of Sun Salutations, lots of stretches for the hiker body including the feet, legs, hips and shoulders, a little bit of core work, some spine strengthening and a delicious Final Savasana at the end. The theme for our class was connection – connecting with the world around us, the fresh air, the views, the sun, wildlife, our yoga practice, our breath and even each other, our fellow yogis.
After our class, we had an impromptu photoshoot where we all took pictures of each other at the top with Mount Rainier smiling in the background and snapped a group photo. We then packed up our gear and mats, hopped back on the trail and headed back down to the cars.
This event was yet another incredible milestone in my yoga teaching career. I got to connect two things I love together into one event – yoga and hiking. After spending the last eight months teaching a bunch of yoga classes, lots of practice, going on several hikes and building a connection with my home yoga studio, I was asked to make this crazy vision of mine a reality.
If you can dream it and are willing to put in the time and hard work, you can make anything happen.
I’m already looking forward to the next yoga hike I get to lead!