Monday, July 9, 2012

Yoga Hiking and Bear Scatt!

Yoga Mountain Hiking

Imagine the beauty of the river, surrounded by mountains, and green…now,
add in yoga poses while the bugs fly in your face and bear “scat” on the trail hinting at what might be around the next corner!

Tom and I love sitting down and looking through the local newspaper, the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Each day, it seems, has a new article that catches our eye. A few weeks ago, we were looking through the paper when we found an article about doing Yoga on a Mountain Hike.

We were so intrigued that Tom and I, both (I was impressed Tom was up for it!) decided we wanted to go check it out!

Veronica Costa-Bolton (the woman in purple in the above picture) had put together the group with the goal of doing different hikes (  up or around the surrounding mountains. The donation request is $10 per person, and this goes to the Kodiak Animal Shelter and Humane Society  (  to help with their services. Tom and I hope to some day (when we are living in a home that can have dogs and cats) adopt a pet from the shelter, so we very much like the idea of supporting them.

Before, during and after the hike, Veronica stops the group and has us do Yoga, Tai Chi, and other body-awareness work. Veronica owns the 100th Monkey Yoga Studio here on the island. She has a calming, yet bubbly personality that (even though I was hurting at times) inspired us to move in ways we had not considered and relax so that we felt soooo much better than we had before.

The 100th Monkey Yoga Studio

For our first hike, Tom and I joined the group to go around a lake close to the Coast Guard base. It was during this hike that we saw bear "skatt" (i.e., poop).

We also saw regurgitated fur from what had previously been a deer. It made me even that much more thankful that I was with a group of people rather than by myself (gulp).

We are told that the bears generally do not like being around humans, and will avoid them at all costs. We've also learned a great deal of what to do, and what not to do, when meeting a bear. Now that we have a blow horn and bear pepper spray in our back pack, I feel much better :)  Tom seems to feel very comfortable in this element, not worried too much at all. It's also really good to have him near.

In the middle of the hike, Veronica, had us go on to a trail that had us close to the river that was flowing by (Buskin River - good salmon fishing during spawning season). She had us close our eyes and use our other senses. I smelled the freshness of the running water and heard it's bubbling sounds. I touched the green, soft blades of grass that sprung up around me. And, I felt the gentle breeze that would occasionally pass by my skin. When we finally opened our eyes, I looked up and saw the canopy of vibrant, green leaves over my head.

We ended the hike by doing some final yoga poses right on the river bank. The mountains shrouded in low clouds made it hard to see very high up. But, we knew they were there. We are surrounded on the island by mountains. They are like sentinels looking over us, providing protection from the elements and adventure for the brave.

This was our first Yoga Mountain adventure hike...but, not our last!

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