Yoga is one of the great mainstays of my life, whether I’m in the city or the mountains or wherever in between. It’s taught me the importance of asana (the physical part of the practice that translates literally as a ‘good seat’ for being able to sit in meditation), of breathing, of silence and meditation. My personal (ever-evolving) mantra starts in my yoga practice and radiates out from there. Sometimes it does feel like my fascination with yoga borders on obsession. I’m fortunate enough to have ample group practice opportunities in my small community. Recently, I’ve been taking full advantage of that – sometimes going to four classes a week. A few weekends ago I was presented with the opportunity to spend the day with my friend and yoga instructor, JP. I went with him to both of his Saturday morning classes and then on a group hike into the Nelder Grove, making for a grand total of three solid hours of yoga practice. Add in the hike and I can safely say that, even though we’re in the heart of the ‘winter’ season, I haven’t backed away from testing the boundaries of my physical strength and determination.
I’m not sure what I was expecting from the Nelder Grove, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. The long dirt road to get there, the serene isolation, the scattering of giants (‘biggies’ as JP puts it), the cold gurgling of Nelder Creek. The hike through is incredibly short and easy and I don’t think I’d have ever made my way back there without the group pull, but it’s worth checking out – if only for being the quietest, most secluded sequoia grove I’ve been to yet.