Seek adventures? Need a creative, original date idea? Looking for a healthy outing with a group of your best friends?
Your cleanse consultant highly suggests: Cleanse your body, mind and soul by taking your yoga practice out in nature and pair it with a brisk, challenging hike. It’s the perfect unique date for couples, friends, and you and your nature-seeking self. If you live in or are planning a visit to the DC-metro area, Danielle Reyes is YOUR outdoor yoga concierge. Her start-up, Yoga Hikes DC
, was created to provide you with a unique experience in secret nature gems tucked away in the heart of the Nation’s Capitol. Last month, I joined Danielle and a few other adventure-curious yogis including Pam Nixon, founder of Teachasana
and Laurel Horody, founder of Living Yoga with Laurel
for a challenging, scenic hike around the Capitol District as a finale for our weekend at the Yoga Alliance Business of Yoga Conference
. The energetic group of yogis combined with Danielle’s organization, creativity, and safety-oriented mindset blew me away. If you are looking for a challenging workout, Danielle is your fearless leader. She’s keen on details, and she’s right on the ball! Highly, highly recommend!
Photo: Danielle Reyes, Yoga Hikes DC
Photo: Yoga Hikes DCWhat to expect:
The yoga hike is broken down into intervals – 20 minutes of hiking, 20 mins of yoga in each destination, 20 minutes of hiking to the next destination, and so on. You will sweat in during the hiking portion! Danielle keeps the pace moving quickly and stragglers are enticed to stay with the pack as she talks about the historical landmarks along the way. Her knowledge of DC sights and history of the parks is incredible and she keeps the facts light and fun along the way.
Photo: Yoga Hikes DCThere are three yoga portions, each 20 minutes in length. The first comprises of sun salutations, the second tests your balance and builds strength through standing sequences, and the third allows you to finally relax in seated forward folds and a meditation practice.
Throughout class, Danielle sprinkles in alignment cues and safety pointers to help both beginners and advanced yogis get the most out of the outdoor yoga experience. As an advanced yogi, I noticed immediately that yoga in sneakers is a lot harder than barefoot, especially on uneven footing. Jumping back to chaturanga dandasana while keeping correct form was near impossible, and unsafe, given the twigs and bramble obstructing a clear path. Danielle made sure to emphasize modifications so everyone could enjoy the practice safely. Between the hike and yoga intervals, my legs and core felt pretty rock solid and well-worked. I slept well that night!
Key highlights: Danielle keeps a stocked backpack with all the essentials you may not even expect to find, such as:
Yoga squares for everyone (keep your bum clean thanks to these cropped sections of yoga mats)
Bug spray (clearly, bugs won’t cramp your style)
Sunscreen (just in case you forgot)
First aid kit (in case you aren’t paying attention and take an unfortunate stumble) Energy bar (did you forget to eat today?)
Our trusty guide frequently reminded the group to always be aware of the earth underneath us, whether we are balancing on twos, fours or seated. Unlevel ground enticed to stay present during the entire yoga hike. There are many more external sights and sounds than we would experience in a yoga studio. This served as a constant reminder to stay focused on our breath, our connection to the earth and our alignment in each yoga pose.
Photo: Yoga Hikes DC
Tips: Wear comfortable closed toe shoes for hiking. Pebbles may be frequent in your path, so open-toe Tevas may not be your best bet.
Wear long yoga pants that go past your knees. You may accidentally perfect your chaturanga dandasana today because you don’t want your knees to get dirty.
Stay present, at all times! In uttanasana, pour weight evenly into feet but know your limits and be careful not to shift too far forward, you don’t want to topple over (it’s been done!)
Puree Juice Bar Blog by Cleanse Specialist & Yoga Instructor, Fern LanghamAs an educator of Wellness & Ayurvedic Nutrition, registered Yoga Teacher & crusader for whole-body nourishment, Fern’s intention is to give you the tools you need to look and feel your best. She has worked extensively with a team of yoga instructors, nutritionists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and integrative doctors, each who has provided her with knowledge that has revolutionized her lifestyle. After years of struggling with undiagnosed food allergies, digestive issues, an autoimmune thyroid condition, and nutrition deficiencies, she is finally glowing. Her passion is to help you find your glow, too.Learn more about Yoga with Fern