One Hundred Ninety Nine

yearofyogaJuly23A Year of Yoga: July 23, 2014

Pose: Headstand Variation

Location: Þórsmörk; Iceland

We spent the day mostly relaxing before hiking over to this side of the park. We found a great campsite courtesy of some lovely Icelandic gentleman we met yesterday in the hot spring. Tomorrow we hike up about 3000 ft. and trek across snow fields and between two glaciers before descending to the coast and Skogar.

Photography Credit: Brandon

 

One Hundred Ninety Eight

yearofyogaJuly22A Year of Yoga: July 22, 2014

Pose: Bridge with leg raise

Location: Laugevegur Trail; Iceland

This was our last full day on the official Laugevegur Trail. In the first part of the day, we crossed over this magnificent gorge via this bridge. After a long day of hiking we arrived in Þórsmörk. Þórsmörk is a National Park nestled in a beautiful valley between several glaciers. It is one of the more popular destinations in Iceland both for locals and tourists. There are multiple campgrounds and hiking trails. We headed to the nearest campground which boasts a hot spring, restaurant, and showers. We enjoyed time in the hot spring with a couple beers and chatted with many lovely people about the trek. Afterwards we had dinner in the restaurant and ran into our old friends; the leaders of the Welsh teenagers. They were enjoying dinner in the restaurant while their charges had to cook for themselves outside. We had a great time recounting the trek and getting a little tipsy : ) One of the best things about backpacking is how much it intensifies appreciation for simple luxuries like sitting in a chair, eating a good meal, and taking a hot shower. We will be taking a day off from trekking tomorrow. We plan to spend the day hanging around Þórsmörk, and eventually end up camping on the other end of the park, which puts us closer to Fimmvörðuháls. That is the trail over the glacial pass and down to the coast. But first, a day of reset.

Photography Credit: Brandon

 

One Hundred Ninety Five

yearofyogaJuly20A Year of Year: July 19, 2014

Pose: Knees to chest

Location: Laugevegur Night 1; Hrafntinnusker, Iceland

So our first day on the trail was interesting. It started out with decent weather and a nice hike. After the first few miles we ran into some much nastier weather and had to start crossing snow fields. I had opted not to lug my waterproof boots from home all across Europe. They are super heavy and this is the only time I would have needed them. But after today, I really wish I had just brought them. As we started crossing snow fields, my feet became soaked. Even though everything else I was wearing was waterproof, the wet feet and sweat from hiking were enough to make me hypothermic by the time we reached our campsite.

I don’t remember a lot. I remember being really cold. B pitched the tent and I climbed in. I took off my clothes but then was kind of frozen cognitively. I didn’t know what to do next and couldn’t make my body move. B finished settling the tent and climbed in and realized the state I was in (now I’m telling his story because it’s a blur to me). He immediately took action. He made sure I was dry and then put me inside a sleeping bag and threw the second sleeping bag over the top. He made some hot broth and I drank it. He also had the brilliant idea to heat up water, pour it into our nalgene water bottle and throw it in the sleeping bag with me. He also ended up climbing in with me for body heat.

Woah. I don’t remember things being that dire, but apparently I was on the edge. Before anyone (my family) freaks out about this story, we were adjacent to a hut which would have gladly taken me in if things didn’t improve. Thankfully I’m married to a guy that knows how to act : )

I was disappointed that we weren’t able to venture out after arriving. There are supposedly some incredible ice caves in the vicinity that we were planning to check out. But there’s always next time.

Photography Credit: Brandon

 

One Hundred Ninety

yearofyogaJuly14A Year of Yoga: July 14, 2014

Pose: Bound Half Moon Variation

Location: Camping Les Pres; Grez-sur-Loing, France

Today is Bastille Day. It’s basically the French equivalent of the U.S.’s Independence Day. We weren’t entirely sure what to expect celebration wise from the locals. We found that actually, it’s pretty much exactly what we do every 4th of July….with one exception. The music that accompanies their fireworks display is awesome 80’s pop instead of cheesy Sousa marches. But it really is a crowd gathering in the local park next to the lake, drinking beer and wine, children twirling glow sticks, and then shooting off a bunch of fireworks. Fun times. Before we headed to the lake, I tried to balance on this trampoline for a pose….it was really hard. Then some cute German girls came along and I felt a little silly jumping around in there with preschoolers.

Photography Credit: Brandon

 

One Hundred Eighty Nine

yearofyogaJuly13A Year of Yoga: July 13, 2014

Pose: Watching the World Cup Final with the locals

Location: Camping Les Pres; Grez-sur-Loing, France

Argentina v. Germany tonight. It was an insane crowd of mostly French and Germans. The French were making fun of the Germans (in a friendly way), but the Germans didn’t have much of a sense of humor. Until Goethe scored of course. Then it was all schnapps and smiles. The party went on all night. Long after me and B went to bed we would sometimes wake up to the sound of merriment. There was a lot of evidence the next morning in the form of empty liquor bottles and beer cans littering the common area. But it only happens every 4 years! I’m a little bummed it’s over.

Photography Credit: Brandon

 

One Hundred Eighty Five

yearofyogaJuly10A Year of Yoga: July 9, 2014

Pose: Balanced Plank

Location: Le Loing River; Grez-sur-Loing, France

It has been raining pretty much since we got here. But we had to get out of the tent for a walk anyways. The main highlights are that a random cat joined us in our tent for a little while and we have eaten the most incredible croissants and french bread from the local bakery.

Photography Credit: Brandon

 

One Hundred Thirty Five

IMG_4528

 

A Year of Yoga: May 16, 2014

Pose: Standing Hand to Big Toe with Forward Fold

Sanskrit: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana/Uttanasana

Location: Our campsite at Camping Trevelez. We left Sevilla today for good. It was quite a commotion this morning realizing how much we had to fit into our rented car. Brandon went and fetched the car at the train station and was able to park at Plaza Pelicano. This gave us plenty of time to figure out how to tetris everything in without the pressure of being double parked. The girls and I kept bringing bag after bag of stuff from the apartment while Brandon stayed with the car puzzling things out. Our last trip out of the apartment was definitely tearful and emotional. The moment I realized we had everything and I needed to leave the key on the table and walk away forever….so hard. It hit me in that moment that it was the second time I’d had to do that and wouldn’t be the last of this trip. Although we were in our California home for 8 years and here for only 11 weeks, the emotion was the same. It was gratitude mixed with grief and apprehension.

We loaded into the car. Everyone was squeezed in pretty tight with all the stuff, but today we’re only driving about 4 hours. We went without GPS this time and relied on maps and signs instead. We did pretty well. The drive into the mountains was beautiful and we arrived at our campground no problem with plenty of daylight to spare. We chose a pitch that was on the high point with the vista of the village of Trevelez (you can see behind me). It was nice to be out in nature with decent weather and a good glass of wine. Oh, and my Portuguese poncho is coming in quite handy!

Photography Credit: Brandon

Forty Seven

A Year of Yoga: February 16, 2014

Pose: Fallen Star

Location: Sand Dunes across from the marina in Morro Bay State Park. We have been camping here for several years now, although this is the first time we’ve gone without the extended family unit. A tradition is renting kayaks at the marina and paddling across the bay to the sand dunes. We then usually run around the sand dunes, making sand angels, rolling down the dunes, etc. This time the girls and Brandon rented kayaks and I decided to try my hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding. Well, I made it across, but it took way longer than in a kayak. It was quite windy that day also so I just kept paddling and paddling and every time I looked up I felt like I hadn’t gone anywhere. But it was still fun and I definitely plan to go again. Now I know what I’m doing. I thought maybe I could strike a yoga pose on the board, but no way in hell. I really have respect for my fellow yogis who can balance on less than two feet planted firmly on the board. Maybe some day!

Photography Credit: Brandon