Yoga in The Tetons and Yellowstone

Last week I went to the Tetons and Yellowstone for the first time ever.  The week was full of firsts for me: first time I drove across several states for hours on end, first time to visit some of the most beautiful scenery in all of the USA, first time to see a buffalo in the wild, first time rafting on the Snake River in Wyoming, first time to see a geyser, and the first time to see a standing petrified tree (to name a few firsts).

We hiked in Yellowstone, rafted the Snake River, ate fabulous meals at the camp, and dipped in cold rivers followed by instant warming up in the sun on heated boulders, and soaked in the Boiling River’s hot springs where the boiling water mixes with glacial run off to make for a perfectly relaxing sulfur soak.  But the highlight of the trip for me was the YOGA!  MaryAnn and I woke up naturally at 6 a.m. every morning and did yoga in the most beautiful of places.

I honestly had no idea last week was going to be packed with very strong yoga experiences day after day!  First of all, in each place where we practiced yoga,  we were graced by a totem animal.  At Beaver Hill Camp, where Julie joined us for the yoga, a crane flew overhead.   At Coulter Bay Camp, we did yoga at Jackson Lake with the Tetons in front of us.  On the first day, an osprey flew overhead as we did our sun salutations.  On the second day, an egret flew and landed in a tree and seemed to watch us as we  moved into our yoga postures.  One morning, a beautiful thrush landed in a nearby tree and sang for us.  On yet another morning, we thought we saw a wolverine or wild cat, but realized we were watching a marmot (!!) hunting birds on a far off rock ledge.

I loved sharing the drive with MaryAnn.  She has a brilliant mind and I was fascinated to hear her ideas and learn from her.  She is a massage therapist and an artist (painter).  She lives and breathes her art into everything she does.  She and her husband are home schooling their equally brilliant son and I was amazed at how MaryAnn lives her life as a gigantic art project.  Everything she encounters and does, including raising her son, is part of a chef d’oeuvre, a masterpiece that only an artist can complete so uniquely.

We talked a lot about yoga. MaryAnn and I are both lovers of nature, the great outdoors, art, and yoga.  We tried to define what we experienced and gleaned from our week together, practicing yoga and meditation in the most exquisite sites, and here is what we came up with:

  • Every place is YOGA
  • Yoga is the complete integration of nature and self
  • Yoga is spontaneity and is a spontaneous process
  • A true yoga practice lacks rigidity
  • There are many paths to YOGA
  • Listen to and connect to your environment. It is the great teacher and will tell you what to do and how to best live your life.
  • Listen to nature and see how much there is to learn from her.
  • Yoga is meditation and integration with nature
  • Yoga is a state of consciousness and a means to obtaining a higher state of consciousness
  • Yoga is a state of being that is characterized by the union of the individual self (you, me) with our TRUE NATURE or HIGHER SELF
  • A regular practice does matter because many events in life can cause an imbalance and the yoga practice brings us back on track to a peaceful existence where we feel harmonious with the bounty and beauty around us.

Here is the slide show from the Tetons and Yellowstone. I think the photos express what I state above in a more concrete and wordless kind of way!

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3 Responses to “Yoga in The Tetons and Yellowstone”

  1. frangallo Says:

    I just have to share what my friend Herb wrote me after reading my post: “Wonderful photos. I’ve had the same experience doing tai chi outdoors in the woods and parks. In Utah, in the Needles of a national park, I was doing tai chi when two golden eagles flew overhead and circled awhile. If you get up early enough outdoors and do quiet moves like tai chi and yoga, birds and animals will come around naturally because you are no threat and being quiet and slow. I’ve had snakes slither past (non poisonous) me, birds many, ducks at Greenlake walk all around me as if I weren’t there. You blend into, become part of nature, and that’s part of the experience.”


  2. Stephanie Says:

    wow(!) fran
    after a week of work and traffic your slideshow has brought me back to my true self.
    i remember chatting with a qi gong teacher about practicing in the woods and she as well commented on how the animals come out. they know.


    • frangallo Says:

      Thank you, Stephanie, for your comment. Yes, animals do know all about peacefulness and good energy. They are drawn to it. In nature, we can more easily reconnect with our animal kin. Fran


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