I choose to fight back with a regular yoga practice; however, recognizing that my journey with mindfulness is still in its infancy, I am beginning to develop a personal arsenal of stress-busting rituals. Some take time, commitment, and patience. Others, I treat as an impromptu adventure or well-earned treat; for these, I often turn the woods.
I have always found my time on the trail to be therapeutic. I try hard to make it a priority to carve out time to rack up the miles and get lost in the woods. Unfortunately, during extra busy times in my life, this practice is often the first to get cut, and I find myself longing for that afternoon in the woods.
It wasn't until recently that decided to explore the idea of integrating sort but mindful outdoor adventures into my busy schedule. I began committing 20 - 40-minute blocks of time to this ritual, stopping at a trail on the way to or from various commitments.
With limited time, I start hiking a brisk pace while focusing on deepening my breath. Once I link my pace to my breath, I add in a series of arm circles and begin to hunt for the perfect stretching tree. Once I find it, I utilize the leverage of the tree’s trunk to explore areas of tension, playing with a series of passive stretches. I wrap up with few moments of stillness by taking in a few deep breaths of fresh air before a swift trek back to the car. After this time out, I often return to the day’s itinerary with a fresh perspective, feeling restored and reset.
So, the next time you are in the middle of a busy a week and you think there might be an unwanted passenger somewhere in your back seat, allow yourself to take time for a little mindfulness in the woods.
Not sure where to start? Find a tree try these poses!