Heli-Yoga? Yes, but so much more...
by Angie Smith
I am a yoga teacher, a yoga student and co-host of Bodacious in the Bugaboos with my dear friend Ellen.
Is this for real? Is this truly my life? There are times when I pinch myself and think only in my dreams would I have a life that allows me to share my passion of yoga and philosophy with dynamic inspiring women every year with Canadian Mountain Holidays.
The setting could not be more inspiring, uplifting and beautiful. With the comfort of the lodge, the mountain views from our yoga room, the friendly staff that make everyone feel comfortable; it all adds up to making the yoga experience that much more special. The lodge acts as our home away from home and sets the tone for us to relax on this 3-½ day trip. Leaving our busy lives behind to revel in the beauty of our surroundings, and most importantly – to be present.
Our days begin with Sunrise Yoga. I wait in our yoga room watching many of our group enter the studio carrying in cups of tea or coffee. We delight in the beauty of the sun coming up over top of the magnificent Bugaboo Spire and Howser Towers – the light is cast, and a magnificent reflection is projected on the lake. This is a wonderful way to begin our day together.
Usually I ring a bell to begin the class amidst chatting in the room. We put down our warm drinks and step onto our yoga mats. Om… The class begins…We do sun salutations, mountain pose, tree pose, breathing in the fresh air and sharing energy amongst one another.
Yoga has many different translations from Sanskrit to English. The word yoga means union / to join; or to use my teacher’s definition – “intimacy”. We don’t just do yoga on the Bodacious in the Bugaboos we experience yoga. Watching the sunrise, walking up the mountain, flying high above the mountain peaks and alpine meadows in our helicopter taxi. You may chat with a new friend and be wholeheartedly attentive and present in the conversation. Sitting in silence, breathing on top of Gemini Mountain beside a waterfall. These are glimpses of what you may experience throughout your trip to help extend your yoga practice.
With a guided morning class, the energetic flow of the yoga practice sets a tone for our day. We experience yoga in the now! We experience the present moment, and to me this is yoga. Of course, we get a little help, and inspiration, from Mother Nature.
Many people ask me – what makes Bodacious in the Bugaboos so special? My answer is simple. Bodacious trips are the perfect combination of pushing your own personal limits, connecting with new and old friends, being connected to nature and being or becoming connected to SELF with the aid of yoga.
In my mind, Yoga is anything that you put your heart and soul into – this can range from a practice on a mat to skiing or hiking. Yoga is about being present.
On Bodacious in the Bugaboos I am considered a teacher, but what I LEARN from being part of these journeys every year is quite remarkable and humbly immeasurable.