Question of the Month: Do you practice yoga on mountains or are they just yoga selfies? What is the significance of the poses you post?

If I am at the top of a mountain with my husband or a friend, the photos are mostly yoga selfies.  When I am alone on a summit, there is a practice and each pose relates to how I feel about reaching a particular peak.

epud katahdinThere are many photos of me practicing Eka pada Urdhva dhanurasana (one-footed upward bow pose).  I practice this and other backbends on summits, when I am elated and feeling successful.  They are a celebration, a way for me to embrace the feeling that anything is possible.  I also discovered, while practicing this pose on Mount Eisenhower, that it obliterates my asthma symptoms giving me a burst of energy and the ability to breathe bowing hanumanmore easily.

I practice Hanumanasana (Monkey pose) and bowing Hanuman when my brain is filled with doubt and I need to find the confidence and determination to move on. The story of Hanuman (The Hindu Monkey God) 

warrior iii precipiceWarrior poses, in particular Warrior III, make me feel powerful.  They provide the strength to continue when life’s problems follow me onto the mountains; things that can’t be fixed, that have no solution, but you have to endure.  Warrior poses help you overcome fear.  I practiced Warrior III at the start of the Precipice Trail and at the top; winning that day’s battle over my fear of heights.

ut magallowyUtthita Trikonasana (Triangle pose) and Vrksasana (Tree pose) help relieve (at least for me) hot flashes by creating space in the body.  Hiking with a pack curls you forward, making you small, bringing on frequent flushes of hot flashes. These poses treecreate a counterbalance of expansion reducing the flashes.

I discovered another benefit while practicing them on Mount Magalloway.    Opening your body wide, taking as much space as possible, brings about a wonderful feeling of freedom and lightness.

happinessUrdhva hastasana  (Upward  hands pose) is pure exuberance.  Almost everyone has practiced this pose, most without even knowing it.  Watch people during a fast moving soccer or football game when a team has scored; they jump up with their arms held high – you can feel their excitement.  It’s an all-encompassing feeling of joy.  A focus on the present moment.  An understanding that in this moment, the world is a magnificent place and nothing else matters. I experienced this on Imp.  It was a hike where so many of life’s little obstacles tried to get in the way of me hiking this mountain.  I was just so excited to be there, on that beautiful little mountain sitting crawfordpeak.

Sometimes I don’t practice yoga poses, I just sit.  I sit and take in all of the beauty, in silence.  I let it wash over and through me.

Alone on a mountain, I let the heart tell me what to practice.  It always leads me in the right direction.

About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta Dell'Anno E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer Owner EssentialYoga Studio. Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and teaching yoga since 2004. She has studied extensively under master yoga teachers Patricia Walden, Zoë Stewart, Sri Arun H.S., Elise Browning Miller, and others. She completed a two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training program with Sr. Iyengar Teacher, Peentz Dubble in June 2017. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014, attended Abhijata's 2-week intensive in Pune, India, December 2016 and BKS Iyengar's Centenary 10-day intensive taught by Prashantji & Geetaji, December 2018. She completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as a 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor in 2014, completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center in 2005 and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. The studio provides individual & specialized privates, semi-privates, group private sessions, and yoga workshops. Roberta conducts local and out of town workshops. She specializes in yoga for scoliosis and back care. She uses props to help students and teachers of all levels transform their backbends, twists, standing and seated postures, as well as inversions like sarvangasana (shoulderstand). She also works with individuals who have physical challenges, specifically individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, CMT, Parkinson's Disease, scoliosis, and amputees in private, semi-private and group sessions.​​​
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