At Yoga Trade our philosophy is that yoga is life. And there is a whole world of greatness to experience out there. We like to inspire people to follow their bliss, and to embrace adventure, exploration, and wellness, into all aspects of life. We are not saying to ditch your regimented personal home practice or to stop going to local yoga studios. Just that balance is key! We can only hope to encourage the value of spending more time outdoors, learning from nature, meeting new people in new places, and getting out of the stagnant comfort zone. (All photography by Alan Hartnick)
Summer is here in Northern California. I always feel blessed to be able to return to my hometown of Nevada City in times of transition. A visit to the Yuba River is always on the top of the list. It allows me to feel grounded and find deeper clarity. The Yuba River is amazing any time of the year, but it is summertime that many of us look forward to, the long days of light when we can fully immerse ourselves underwater in the emerald pools and worship the sun on the smooth granite rocks.
Today I cruised down to the South Yuba River for a solo trek and was graced by an inspiring occurrence. On my hike upstream I met a fellow explorer, Aaron who said he worked for Mother Lode River Center and was experimenting with some additions he was coming up with for his Alpacka Raft. He is a devoted river explorer, teacher, guide, and inventor. It was his first time to this section of the river so I walked with him up to one of my favorite swimming holes. He let me paddle around in his pack light inflatable raft and talked about his expeditions before he took off to float downstream to experience the canyon and test out some of his new product riggings. He was SO enthusiastic and passionate about the river and life that just talking with him left me with an ultra-positive feeling about the world. It is a delight to see people that are so in their element and radiate contagious uplifting energy. He helped remind me that we can find all the knowledge we ever need at the river.
I thank the river for teaching me well. Here are some powerful lessons we can remind ourselves of by spending a day at the river while becoming in tune with the natural rhythms of life:
Sometimes softer things can overcome harder things. The power of soft, flowing water is magnificent. Find the confidence and success in softening.
Find Flow. It’s about finding the balance of surrender and control.
Form a good relationship with the river and everything in life! The more you give the more you will receive.
See the river and all of nature as a symbol of where new life begins. Life changes year-to-year and moment-to-moment. It is all about cycles.
Look for the infinite possibilities. Don’t focus on the obstacles. If you focus on the rocks, while floating downstream you will hit them! Focus on the creative energy of the water and look where you want to go.
Enjoy the rapids and the calm. During the “rapids of life” it can be good to be focused and single minded. But we must be sure to appreciate the beauty and wonder in the calm, peaceful, and sometime long stretches.
Before modern times, people would learn how to navigate rivers by watching its signs and listening to its voice. Take time to listen to nature and listen within.
In the book Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, it is the river that teaches the ultimate lesson. Siddhartha realizes that the river symbolically represents life itself as shown through the emerging sounds from the river, representing the sound of all creation. His epiphany is that all of creation is absorbed into one harmonious whole:
“From that hour Siddhartha ceased to fight against his destiny. There shone in his face the serenity of knowledge, of one who is no longer confronted with the conflict of desires, who has found salvation, who is in harmony with the stream of events, with the stream of life, full of sympathy and compassion, surrendering himself to the stream, belonging to the unity of all things. “
Enjoy a summer day at the river and incorporate some of nature’s teachings into your yoga practice and everyday life!
Big thanks to Alan Hartnick for all of the awesome photography. Contact him for beautiful Yuba River photos! firstname.lastname@example.org
Share or explore a yoga opportunity today and become part of the wonderful yogi community at Yoga Trade. www.yogatrade.com