A heli-yoga experience in Kananaskis County

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll know that I recently took up hot yoga. And if you ever want to see me at my worst, come to hot yoga and witness me upside down in downward-dog position with sweat dripping staccato-like onto my mat.

But I love it, even the weird “Namaste” and “inward eye” crap. I never feel as good as I do when I leave a yoga class.

When I found out I’d be doing heli-yoga in Alberta, I was pumped. Ecstatic. “Heli-yoga?” everyone asked in bewilderment. “Like, yoga in a helicopter?”

No. Heli-yoga means you take a helicopter into the mountains for a yoga session in the middle of nature. People do that. Heli-yoga is real.

(I apologize in advance for the douchy “yoga poses in nature” photos I’ll be sharing within this post. While wearing sneakers. But I was actually doing a yoga session, and didn’t have much time before the helicopter returned. Seriously.)

I headed out to Kananaskis County with my Canada Keep Exploring group to meet Martha of Martha’s Heli-Hikes. Not having been in a helicopter since I was about 10 years old, I freaked out a little. And Tweeted about it. From the helicopter.

We flew for about 15 minutes before reaching a clearing in the mountains.

Very few moments in my life have I experienced such silence, especially in the tourist-laden areas of the Rockies. Far way from the hum of electricity and the chaos of traffic, and the kind of sounds that eventually become white noise.

For the others in the group, this was their first yoga experience. We stretched out mats on the bumpy ground and sat silently until Martha began her instruction. An occasional insect buzzed by my head, and birds chirped from the forest. We were stiff and achy from canoeing and biking and flying, and so Martha led us through some stretching exercises to unwind those knots and clear the stress from our heads.

We stretched out in Savasana, Corpse Pose, with the sun beating down on our faces. How can I ever go back to yoga in a studio?

We finished it all by sharing three words about how we were currently feeling. I wanted to say, “Stretched, sunburned, and awesome.” Instead I went with, “Peaceful, relaxed, and happy.”

And then in true blogger form, we all pulled out our phones and started Tweeting.

  • September 26 2012

    lol to the douchy yoga poses apology — this looks awesome and I don’t even do yoga

  • September 26 2012

    Really cool you choosed my picture with the tree position of you :) Thanks for posting. Still uploading pictures to pinterest.

  • September 26 2012

    This looks so cool. I’ve never tried yoga, but yoga on a mountain could convert me.

    • September 28 2012

      But then you’ll never be able to do studio yoga again!

  • September 27 2012

    Love the tweeting from the mountaintop. I use to live in Kananaskis country and the first time I climbed Mt Baldy I immediately pulled out the cellphone to share the experience. I have never felt so isolated yet so connected…and definitely impressed that I even had cellphone reception:)

    • September 28 2012

      Hahaha, same! Was NOT expecting cell phone reception!

  • September 28 2012

    I enjoy calling my parents from the tops of 14ers in Colorado. My Dad loves getting these calls. This looks so cool and your hair is truly fantastic. Girl, you are having a hell of a good year!!!

  • September 29 2012

    Wow!!!!!!! What an amazing experience! I wanta try it!!!

  • September 30 2012

    That sounds like SUCH an amazing experience! And look at you, looking like a pro-helicopterer, complete with aviators! ;D
    This makes me want to do yoga. But only outside. sunshine ftw.

  • October 01 2012

    Absolutely Incredible! I would love to try! I adore Hot Yoga but Yoga in Nature would be so relaxing. I just found out I can do Yoga on the Beach next to Tulum Mexico and I am SOOOO signing myself up!

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