I have been an avid outdoorsman and multi-sport athlete for nearly my whole life; however, I am still new to yoga and the mindful lifestyle that inevitably follows its adoption. My yoga practice began three years ago like I would image it did for many twenty-something males. My girlfriend dragged me to a crowded, sweaty studio where I struggled my way through a 90-minute class with a classic ‘eccentric’ instructor. It simply didn’t work for me. It was not until I took my yoga practice outdoors that it would really ‘click.’ As a competitive person, the outdoors always meant pushing myself as hard as possible. I found enjoyment in nature, but I was not allowing myself to slow down enough to fully understand the immense effect it had on me. Outdoor yoga, specifically in nature, forced me to do just that – slow down, breathe and move.
Hiking in New England can be far more strenuous than most people envision. Our trails are unrelenting, rocky, uneven, root filled and sometimes nearly vertical. In short, leading hikes in New England is as challenging as it is rewarding, but the end goal is always to offer a real hiking experience with no frills and no gimmicks. As a co-leader of what are predominately female trips, I am often asked the question “is it weird being the only guy?" I usually smile and just shake my head no.