Yoga on the river was a relaxing and calming workout after eight hours of working on trails, pulling weeds, and painting a fire lookout. Starting August 2 until August 6, 2010, the Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development (WILD) program went on a fun, but exhausting five-day service learning and conservation education trip to the Skykomish Ranger District in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. It was a challenging trip that everyone complained about; whether it was the heavy breathing from miles of hiking, sweating, the annoying bugs that kept on bugging us, or just simply tiredness. So what did we do to try to solve all these complaints? Yoga on the river!
After the third day of hard, muscle-building work, we all decided as a group to do yoga next to the river. Led by me and Michelle Woo, who was one of the staff at WILD, all the girls participated excitedly during yoga on the river. We started out with a simple standing pose called “Mountain”, where we stood straight with both feet together with our hands clasp in front of our chest. Although a very simple pose, it helped us breathe more constantly and forget all the things we did that day. It also helped us relax as well as calm our minds and body down. Then we moved on to a series of standing poses starting from the “Triangle” pose, where we stood with both feet about three ft. apart and our hands wide away from each other. From that, we bent our upper body, one hand touching the leg and the other up in the air, as if forming a triangle shape. After that, we did the “Warrior” pose where from triangle, spreading our feet even further apart, bending one knee while both arms open wide in a horizontal position. These movements helped us release tensions from our muscle while stretching our hips, hamstrings, spine, inner thighs, chest, and shoulders. Because we were standing on sands and rocks, we decided to mainly do the standing poses. However, we finished off doing a prayer pose where we laid our chest on our knees kneeled on the ground with arms reaching front as far as we could. With our closed eyes, we were able to just relax and enjoy the sounds of the river.
Everyone loved the little yoga session. Because of all the smashing rocks and miles and miles of hiking up steep trails, we weren’t able to look at the beautiful forest and take pleasure in the nature like we would have wanted. Since it helped clear people’s mind, they all wanted to do yoga everytime we get back from work. In the end, we not only enjoyed the view but also helped greatly to restore our appreciation of the forest. Most importantly, we all had fun and learned so many things about the environment. With yoga on the river, we all felt refreshed and ready to do as much work as we did that day.