Yoga is one of the most rapidly growing recreational pursuits across the world. Anyone who has practiced yoga will tell you that it is not an easy activity. Perfecting this discipline of the mind, body and spirit in a studio is tough, but testing your yoga skills in the great outdoors is a bigger challenge. The spiritual part of yoga fits perfectly with the kind of meditation that happens when you get out into nature. Yoga hiking retreats have become extremely popular and many public and private organizations in the U.S. offer everything; from hour-long sessions to day-long retreats in national parks across the country. As we celebrate International Yoga Day this month, let’s look at why the following five famous U.S. national parks are perfect to take your yoga mat for a day out.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona is one of the most iconic American landmarks which is dramatic and awe-inspiring. It was formed as the Colorado River relentlessly surged through the area shaping the canyon, five million years ago. Today, it is one of the most premier tourist destinations in the world and is considered as a spiritual gathering place for the Southwest’s Native American communities.
There are many ways to enjoy the Grand Canyon including yoga camping. You can experience both, the natural beauty and the spiritual importance of this national park and simply stay on top and bask in its majestic beauty.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
The natural magic of Joshua Tree is filled with undeniable mystery and wonder. The inspiration for your poses can come from this southern California park’s namesake, the Joshua tree. This spiny tree lives all across the 321,000-hectare park, 210 kilometers east of Los Angeles.
The arms of the trees bend in all sorts of positions which are evocative of yoga poses. At a Joshua Tree retreat you can enjoy yoga in the morning, breathing in the fresh air and relaxing your mind, body, and soul.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Maine has always been known as a camper’s nirvana and this is the reason why it is a perfect spot for a yoga retreat in the U.S. This Pine Tree State has 6,000 lakes and is covered by about 17 million acres of lush forests.
You can experience the calm, meditative qualities of the numerous bodies of water in the Acadia National Park. If you’re confident of your balancing abilities, test your positions while floating on a paddleboard in the middle of a lake.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Spanning the continental divide, Rocky Mountain National Park stretches across 415 square miles filled with alpine lakes, the headwaters of the Colorado River and dozens of peaks that reach 12,000 feet and higher.
Free yoga classes are offered throughout the summer in Estes Park which is 110 kilometres northwest of Denver, Colorado, in the foothills of Rocky Mountain National Park. The rugged beauty of the surrounding mountains allows you to steep yourself in yoga, nature, rejuvenation, and relaxation.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
The vast woods of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, located about 30 kilometres southeast of Cleveland provide the perfect backdrop for yoga classes that are largely focused on relaxation. The Ohio residents and park visitors look forward to the free outdoor yoga sessions at the park throughout summer and fall. The fall classes take advantage of spectacular colour changing views, and these sessions are open to all skill levels.
What are your plans of celebrating International Yoga day? Well, if nothing, here is your chance of removing dust from your yoga mat and head out to these breathtaking destinations for your calm sessions.