I was waiting in the studio for somebody to come to my Sunday vinyasa class. I felt a surge of energy flow through me as my music picked up it’s rhythm and I moved through some poses that felt good for my post hill run from the day before. I burned some palo santo after the clock showed that it was 10 past class time. I was going to meet up with my friend once class was over so that we could drive to the Olympic mountains, but it was obviously too early for her to pick me up, so I locked up and ordered some chai next door. I took my drink and walked down to the dock to sit in the sun, eat my lunch, and wait.
Everything was so blue: the sky, the water, my sweater, my ring. I closed my eyes and heard the seagulls, heard children laughing and screaming on the playground. People passed back and forth on the old wooden planks. Children went running towards the playground once they saw it. I thought about how pleasant it is that playgrounds allow children to amuse themselves with what is already there, without rules, letting their imagination take over.
The sun was warm, the air was cool. I sighed a satisfied sigh and noticed how it sounded like “home” and how “om” also sounds like “home”. Both sounds representing states of being connected with all that is, being content, being at home.
I noticed that the longer I sat in one place, the more satisfied and loving I felt. Everything continues, there is stillness in the movement. Everything is okay.
Once my friend showed up, we exchanged smiles and hugs and were soon on our way to the mountains, particularly to Mount Ellinor. I navigated. We grew increasingly excited the closer the mountains became. After making our way off the highway, we were on 7 miles of gravelly, windy, pothole-ridden road. We finally made our way to the parking lot and prepared for our hike: sunscreen, hat, bathroom, water. This hike was only 1.6 miles to the summit, but a 2500 ft elevation gain. The first five minutes were some of the easiest, which is saying something, being that it was all uphill and I was already short of breath. My friend brought her dog, like many of our fellow hikers, which I feel helps people to continue being motivated.
This hike required a lot of concentration, lots of tactical foot movement. My quads were feeling it. The higher we got, the more the trees cleared and the rocks became less slippery and more sharp. The view also got more impressive. Once we got up a rocky staircase, to a part that was only about 10 minutes from the summit, we could start seeing the rest of the Olympics. Finally, we made it to the tippity top. We could see Mount Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, the rest of the Olympics, Seattle, and even a shining sliver of the ocean on the horizon! I was surprised to see a tiny finch-like bird flitting around the rocks at the top.
Whenever I’m out in nature, I’m reminded of my own simple truth. I am always here, in my body, like a single tree in a forest. Things are constantly changing around me. I may adapt, change, and grow with time, but I am always here, existing.
I am honored to be a yoga teacher. I am simply reminding people of these tools that are our bodies, our basic foundation, and how connecting back to what is can bring peace to our racing minds.