Class Notes, Week 36: Wyoming

Where does this road go? Will it remain smooth and beautiful, or will there be bumps and bad weather along the way?

The Moksha yoga teacher training program requires me to journal once each week about my experience with the poses and assignments + my practice and progress. This is part of that weekly assignment.

I love the wide, open spaces of America’s West.  Chicago can become stifling, with its throngs of people, noisy street traffic and towering skyscrapers.  The freedom of the open road, amidst some of America’s iconic natural treasures, is a wonderful antidote to cosmopolitan angst.  Plus, nature has so much to teach us.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”  If I’m going to leverage that quote in my yoga video review, I have to apply it to my own life.

My three-day trip to Wyoming wasn’t exactly the epitome of slowing down, however.  I thought I’d do some hikes, carry no real agenda and make space for introspection.  But that didn’t happen.  I failed to slow down and spend my time in solitude amidst nature to reflect and introspect — there was just so much to see and do, and I didn’t want to miss out.  I didn’t even make time to do any asana or pranayama, I was so wired to explore, explore, explore.

Despite this inner “tsk-tsk,” it felt so healthy to be driving, hiking and rafting amidst so much beauty.  Even during a particularly cloudy day, sunlight peaked through and bathed the mountains, forests, fields and streams in a magical way.  Every shade of green, blue and purple was woven into the landscape, and the majestic Tetons towered above it all.  The scenery made me cry.  It felt wonderful — the emotional impact that Mother Nature inspired within me, and to feel so deeply.  That was a gift in itself, to be reminded that simple things in nature can pierce my soul so beautifully.

The Memorial Day holiday weekend has unexpectedly turned into my annual road trip out West, into the natural splendor of America.  Last year, I journeyed through New Mexico.  The year before that, it was Red Rock Country in Arizona.  This year, Wyoming.

Perhaps I will carry on this (evolving) tradition in the years to come …

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