Super Soul Yoga Hike
By Christy O'Connell
What a way to spend a Sunday!
Lisa Rueff has just launched Super Soul Yoga Hike in the Marin Headlands. We all gathered at 10:00 am in the parking lot at Ft Cronkhite/Rodeo Beach. Little did we know what an amazing experience was ahead of us. During our thirty-minute hike up the coastal trail, it was hard not to stop every few feet and admire the views. Those of us that live in the Bay Area do realize how lucky we are. However, I still pinch myself on a clear and gorgeous day. As we climbed up the railroad tie stairs, passing trail runners and hikers with dogs, I overheard someone say, “Hiking and yoga, seems a bit ambitious.” Yeah, maybe it does, but once we reached our destination it was well worth it.
The flat cement platform on the ridge of the hill was made for yoga. We all began peeling off layers and unfurling our yoga mats to face the ocean. It took a few minutes to settle in since we were distracted by the sheer magnitude of doing yoga so high in the sky. As Lisa asked us to close our eyes, quiet our minds and focus on the sound of the ocean, it was amazing how clear we could hear the lapping of the waves below. Before we began, she asked us to think of a word that we felt connected to and carry that with us.
Whenever you have a chance to do sun salutations in the sun, do it. You raise your arms above you head, feel the sun shining on your face, then bend at the waist and look out onto the ocean before jumping back into plank position and feeling the earth beneath you. I’m positive everyone in the front row with me looked out to the ocean and was in awe. It was hard not to be. Lisa took us through many traditional poses -- we even practiced boat pose as a container
ship passed by.
At one point, we balanced on our left knee in altar pose while blowing a kiss with our right hand to the ocean and/or a loved one. It really resonated with me; this week was the first anniversary of my mother’s passing. Not a moment has gone by that she hasn’t been in my thoughts. However, it was blowing a kiss to her in the sun, high up on a mountain that I shed tears of joy behind my sunglasses. I felt her presence at that moment, and knew she was smiling down on me.
Our session in the sun lasted for about 60 minutes but not before having a peaceful savasana. As the sun beamed down, I covered my face, focused on the music and my breath while the breeze caressed my skin. When I placed my right hand on my heart and left hand on my belly, I instantly became more present and ready to tackle the rest of the day. Gradually sitting up, reconnecting with my earlier thought, I knew that choosing gratitude was the perfect theme for the day and outlook for the week.
The Full Snow Moon appeared February 22nd, and I am optimistic about the opportunities that lay ahead of me. I thank my beautiful mother for giving me resilience, my 20-year yoga practice and of course, Lisa Rueff for this magical and ongoing experience.