By Aurora Anderson, June 22 2018 —
Life’s stresses catch up with us at the worst times. Most of us aren’t aware of how much residual stress we hold onto, manifesting itself in our breathing, habits, thought patterns and posture. This summer, focus on recharging both your body and mind with some yoga in the Rockies. While many companies offer yoga retreats, it’s an easy activity you can do on your own or with friends.
Yoga helps to correct posture and encourages people to practise mindfulness and meditation while also increasing flexibility, muscle tone and strength. A 2018 Val Thorens article on the benefits of yoga in the mountains concludes that a high-altitude yoga improves respiration, energy, circulation and cardiac systems. Practising yoga where the air is pure stimulates the cardiovascular system, proving that the Rocky Mountains are good for the soul.
Many tutorials and videos are online to help guide you for an independent and low-cost approach to mountain side yoga. There are plenty of beautiful spaces only a 45-minute drive from Calgary, so grab a friend and head west for some Instagram-worthy shots of your mountain pose on a mountain.
Yoga and the Rocky Mountains have a magical way of de-stressing me. My favourite spot to relax is at Gap Lake, located on the south side of Heart Mountain, just off Bow Valley Trail (Hwy 1A). A nearby parking lot allows for easy access to the lakefront and trails where you can stroll along until you find the perfect spot.
Regardless of how much is going on in my life, breathing mountain air always relaxes me and clears my mind. Doing yoga in the mountains offers a unique perspective that yoga studios in the city lack. It encourages us to keep moving onward and upwards in our personal lives while offering an environment that makes humanity feel small in comparison to the natural rock sheds that pushed up from the ground thousands of years ago.