You know, people’s lives are a little crazy. Things can often seem crazy at work. It’s crazy keeping up with the kids and their schedules, or social and other obligations. Even having fun on a Saturday night can get a little crazy!
From time to time in our lives, our bodies need to relax, regroup and rejuvenate. In fact, it’s a lofty goal, whether we’re stuck in a rush-hour traffic jam, rushing through the mall to buy last-minute gifts, or fast approaching a deadline we’ve worked so hard for. But rejuvenation is essential. Why do you think yoga has become a more popular practice in the last twenty or thirty years?
I practice yoga, and I love it. Especially when I can practice outdoors or in a calm and beautiful environment. I must say that getting out and breathing fresh air, participating in nature, whether walking, hiking, cycling or practicing yoga, is extremely cathartic. There is nothing like that. My new love is just going for a walk or hike, somewhere with beautiful scenery or views, where my mind can get distracted from the pressures of life.
Today I went for a walk with my boyfriend. We recently dealt with our share of stress, from illness (our entire house contracted a rare respiratory virus that made our heads spin, literally! We were all dizzy. Did you know that there is actually a drug that eliminates vertigo?) to a Unusually early cold snap with over twenty inches of snow, which caught a lot of people off guard, not to mention the endless work we both had to put in at our jobs (which we both do from home)! It seemed that we had become attached to our computer monitors and I felt very claustrophobic.
After days of working indoors, cooped up and feeling some communion with my internet connection, I had had enough. I needed to get out of our tiny condo and get some fresh air (we live in Aspen Colorado where all the condos are small, it’s a lot like New York City, not a lot of space). We drove up to the railings at Independence Pass where it gets blocked during the winter season. We parked, got out and started walking. Granted, it wasn’t a real backcountry hike (we were walking on pavement), but we made good progress for over an hour before turning around. The cool, crisp air was fantastic (and since most of this part of the pass is fully exposed to the south, we weren’t in any danger of freezing). The best part was the magnificent views! It felt so good to be outside, taking it all in!
It is at times like these that I get what I like to call my most “creative” ideas. I can fantasize or lose myself in the wonder of the desert. My imagination runs wild! One of those wild adventures of the mind started like this: I noticed that he was sweating hotly, even though he was only wearing yoga pants, a bra, and a light fleece jacket. The air was still cooling most of my body, but my chest seemed to stay quite warm (and even sweaty)! That’s when my mind took leave. I wonder if my chest isn’t getting cold because I have silicone implants.
Then I said out loud to my boyfriend, “If I was ever found frozen to death in here, honey…I wonder if my chest would freeze.”
“Than?!” she laughed in disbelief, knowing I was referring to my silicone implants. “That’s out there!”
I knew it was. But I continued, “Well, you know. My breasts never get cold!” I said, laughing.
“They do not do it?” she asked.
“Nope! But I’m not sure if it’s because when I’m outside in the freezing cold, I move around so much, I exercise, that my chest stays warm because of the extra weight, or because my lungs are working too hard?” I contemplated this, before continuing, “Because I never go out in freezing weather and stand still, so it’s hard to tell if they’d be warm, if I stood still.”
“That’s too weird, honey!” he joked. We both laughed at the weird places your mind (well, my mind) can go on the edge of the wasteland.
I admit it, it was a twisted comic moment. Why the hell was I thinking if my ta-tas would freeze or not anyway? Let me ask the question that many girls have asked (or haven’t they?), but were too afraid to ask.
I recently read an op-ed in the local paper that suggested they set up a booth at the base of one of Aspen’s most popular hikes, Smuggler Loop. The author noted how many people use hiking as a way to deal with the pressures of life, so the stand at the base could be manned by a priest, counselor, etc. He had some great ideas on how to market the idea, ie “Cardio Advisors” or “Reverends in Reeboks”. It was quite fun. I thought: now that could work! But the truth is that many people go out in nature and take walks to think, not to talk! Hiking, Walking – Getting out and breathing in the fresh air is extremely invigorating and can solve a world of problems. One could argue that given the places my mind travels to on these hikes, perhaps a little psychological help wouldn’t be out of order! I swear, my paperback version of “Psychology for Dummies” never warned me of the dangers of going crazy on the road!
The point is, I did this great hike and experienced some incredibly peaceful contemplative moments, as well as lots of laughs along the way. It was actually a nice experience for the self-proclaimed city girl that I am! But she also cleared my head. Believe me, I have many things in my life that cloud or distort my thoughts and stress me out. This little excursion took me to another world and I enjoyed the moment as well as the wonderful benefits for my body!