Have you ever tried yoga in the great outdoors? It’s a very special experience – especially when you roll out your yoga mat on the shore of a sparkling mountain lake at 2,000 m above sea level. I speak from experience, because last summer I had the opportunity to take part in “Yoga on the mountain”.
Here in Zauchensee you have the opportunity to experience “yoga on the mountain” between green alpine meadows and the blue glittering Seekarsee at 2,000 m above sea level. While yoginis Carina and Lucia lead you through the asanas (yoga exercises), you can hear the soft tinkling of cowbells and the shrill whistles of marmots. With the scent of wild herbs in your nose and the tickle of the sun’s rays on your face, stress and everyday worries are blown away in an instant.
My experience at “Yoga on the mountain” in Zauchensee
Every Wednesday in July and August, the “Yoga on the mountain” classes with Carina and Lucia take place in Zauchensee. On a sunny July morning last summer, I took part in a yoga session and today I’ll tell you a little bit about it:
Shortly before 9 am I meet all the participants of the day and our yoga teacher Carina in the World Cup Arena. Armed with our yoga mats the Gamskogel lift take us up the mountain, where the Zauchi tractor train is already waiting for us. Past grazing cows and sometimes not so shy marmots, the colourful train takes us up to the Seekarsee. On an alpine meadow dotted with colourful alpine flowers, each of us finds a place to unroll our yoga mat.
With breathing exercises and a short meditation session, we start to unwind. Now our attention is completely focussed on the voice of our trainer – and on ourselves. The yogini guides us through the asanas and by now, at the latest, time, stress and appointments have lost all meaning. The class lasts about 90 minutes, which fly by. Afterwards, the Zauchi is ready to take us back to the Gamskogelhütte (if you like, you can also walk the short distance and enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountain for a while), where a delicious healthy snack awaits us. It tastes even better after the intensive yoga, body and nature experience!
Tip! Do you want to enjoy nature a little longer after “yoga on the mountain” Hikes to suit every ability level start from the Gamskogelhütte!
On the terrace of the Gamskogelhütte we get together for a cosy chat. Our trainer Carina is also there and tells us a bit more about her experiences as a yogini – and why she has become a different person through yoga.
Carina in the interview – what makes “yoga on the mountain” so special…
Normally you sit on the yoga mat in a quiet room and have no distractions. But in “Yoga on the Mountain” we are in the open air and notice our surroundings, be it the sound of the wind, the voices of hikers or the warmth of the sun. I learn to concentrate on myself anyway, to pay attention to my body, my breathing, my thoughts. This is also a valuable tool for everyday life.
With yoga, you also experience the mountain and yourself in a completely different way than with hiking: It’s about mindfulness, consciously feeling the elements, consciously focusing your attention.
What I also find particularly nice about “Yoga on the Mountain” is that the participants and I already get to know each other on the ride up the Gamskogel lidr. We also always get to talk to each other when we stop at the Gamskogelhütte. We talk about our experiences with “yoga on the mountain” and share our experiences with yoga in general. You get to know very interesting people!
What yoga means to me…
… being able to feel myself. Especially in today’s world with social media, stress and many external distractions, it is important to find your roots and listen to your body. Yoga helps to think less and feel more. Since I’ve been doing yoga, my body feels better and I’ve become calmer and much more patient.
The beauty of yoga is that there is no such thing as too young, too old, too immobile. My motto is: if you can breathe, you can do yoga. The how is up to everyone – some start with more athletic exercises first and relax afterwards, others start completely relaxed right away. Yoga offers many possibilities.
Carina’s tips for yoga beginners:inside…
The most important principle of yoga is Ahimsa, non-harming. Neither yourself, nor others. Yoga comes from India and therefore from a culture where people are flexible in a different way than here in Western Europe. In relation to any asana, this means: as soon as it hurts, I immediately get out of the exercise.
Yoga is about feeling good, not about bending as much as possible. Exercises are part of it, but the point is meditation. The physical exercises are the preparation for that. The basic rule is: I must always feel inside myself, how something suits me.
photo credits: Bergbahnen Zauchensee