Namaste & Nature: Hikyoga™

Hikyoga™ class overlooking Lake Ontario.
Hikyoga™ at Chimney Bluffs State Park overlooking Lake Ontario last month.

I love yoga, and I love the outdoors. It only makes sense then that I would eventually find a way to take my practice outside, right? Usually my practice takes place at my gym’s Vinyasa class, interspersed with some occasional hot yoga classes at the local Bikram studio. The first outdoor yoga class I took was in July 2014 when Rochester Young Professionals offered the outdoor recreation event “Yoga in the Park” led by Sarah from Inner Bloom Yoga. The event took place near the Sunken Garden in Highland Park – a truly beautiful setting for a peaceful practice right in the city of Rochester.

RYP's Yoga in the Park event in July 2014.
RYP’s Yoga in the Park event in July 2014.

I loved the class and the instructor did a great job, however I hadn’t heard about many other opportunities for outdoor yoga classes in the area since. Through social media and friends near Washington, DC I heard about something called Yoga Hikes DC and I thought it sounded like a terrific way to combine two of my favorite activities – and I wished such a thing existed in Rochester, NY. So I was thrilled to open up the Democrat and Chronicle one day to find an article about a Webster woman guiding adventures in area parks that blend hiking and yoga. Count me in!

Hiking along the Bluff Trail during a Hikyoga™ event.
Hiking along the Bluff Trail during a Hikyoga™ event.

I signed up for the October 4th Hikyoga™ at Chimney Bluffs State Park in Wolcott, NY. Chimney Bluffs State Park is about an hour east of Rochester. The park offers hiking in wooded trails and along the lakeshore featuring incredible views of the razor-sharp bluffs. The steep cliffs and rock/mud formations were carved by glaciers and are constantly evolving due to erosion.

Chimney Bluffs

Nicole Kazimer led a good-sized group of us through a yoga warm up, hike to the bluffs, and a full yoga class in a grassy area of the park overlooking Lake Ontario. The hike was mostly flat and not very long, less than two miles total. We ventured out to an overlook on the trail with views of the impressive bluffs, then went back the same to way we came to our spot on the lake for an invigorating yoga practice. There was a pleasant breeze and the sound of Lake Ontario’s waves crashing against the shore added a special ambiance to our meditation that really made me feel connected to nature.

Hiking along the steep ledge of the Bluff Trail.
Hiking along the steep ledge of the Bluff Trail.

Overall it was a truly wonderful experience and I’ve been dying to join another Hikyoga™ outing, but schedule restrictions have gotten in the way of previous and upcoming events. If you’re interested in attending, check out Nicole’s website to learn more. You can also follow her on Instagram for some wanderlust-inducing yoga shots at @helloyogagirl.

Have you ever tried a yoga hike? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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Published by Alli Mincher

Alli is a full-time product marketer and certified yoga teacher. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from The College at Brockport, State University of New York. She spends her free time practicing yoga, hiking, and adventuring with her family.

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