I’ve long wanted to combine my two favorite hobbies: hiking and yoga.
Yoga in the woods, I think, is a splendid idea.
I’ve been on a supervised meditation trip where the most memorable part by far was the drum meditation upon a cliff. Yoga in the forest would be a first.
So I didn’t doubt for a second to cease the opportunity when I spotted a Facebook post by Studio Rauha.
There would be hiking, yoga, lunch and getting to know herbs in the Lapakisto nature reserve.
Guiding us were Janika Lehikoinen and Niko Laaksonen and this would be their final exam. They both study to be nature and wilderness guides in Hyria. To evaluate them was Ari who was also accompanying us.
There were ten of us, backpacks and yoga mats and all, standing in the Lapakisto parking lot.
The parking lot was packed, so we were kind of nervous if we’d fit in the Sammalisto lean-to area. I know for a fact it’s one of the more popular spots.
Niko had gone on-site beforehand to make herbal tea and after a few kilometer hike we got to him.
After a quick drink break we unrolled the mats on the ground. Not before we brushed the excessive pine cones and such out of the way. It’s a tad difficult to perform a relaxation pose with one of those under your back.
We did a brief opening yoga set and finished by meditating and listening to the wind.
It was, as I suspected, wonderful. Sure, passers by and the ruckus from family settled in at the lean-to threw me off a little but if you want peace and quiet, got to a more peaceful and quieter spot.
After yoga, sustenance!
Herbal tea and interesting tips and tricks about gathering and some everyman’s rights as dessert.
After tea we packed out mats and continued towards Kalliojärvi and back again.
Every now and then we stopped to gather mushrooms and look at plants. Gathering berries is permitted there as well but you can’t stay the night.
There are plenty of repaired campfires around and I know some people have also spent the night in the lean-tos. Picking berries from trees is also not permitted.
We also had time to hug some trees!
Did you know that if there’s shield bark on a pine tree, it’s roughly a hundred years old? I didn’t. You never stop learning.
Yoga and herbal knowledge go well together since people doing yoga become more sensitized to their body’s messages. For instance, some people quit coffee altogether after they’ve done yoga for a while.
You can treat all sorts of ailments with herbs. Take meadowsweet for example: it contains salicylites, which can also be found in painkillers. What would some meadowsweet tea sound like after a long hike?
I wouldn’t advise anyone to go herb gathering without any prior knowledge, since in this world, all that’s green, is totally not good for you, as Niko pointed out.
We had a top notch day in the woods and I loved the concept.
Maybe someone makes a product out of it one day!