Our new Yoga and Hiking retreat tees say “Get High with BSY”. An attempt at humor, but really…I mean it. There is definitely a hiker’s high that comes from the endorphin release in the mountains. From the book The Nature Principle, recommended reading for our hiking trips:
We were born to walk. And run. And hike. We need to keep moving. Perhaps when we hike we do so by necessity, as we trace the invisible songlines of our genome.
One gratification that comes to some hikers…is sometimes referred to as hiker’s high, which can be defined as runner’s high plus the sensory additives of being outdoors.
On last weekend’s retreat, we woke up Saturday to pouring rain and a big temperature difference from the day before. As we practiced that morning and the rain came down harder, I assured the hiking yoginis that it would be perfect weather for our peak hike. I even ventured that the cooler temps and rain might bring out the animals. At breakfast, we spotted a black bear outside the cabin. About a quarter mile from the trailhead, a mama moose with her young one. Magic. We whispered as we watched them, working hard to contain the feelings of joy seeing these two instilled in us so as not to startle them. What I think we all really wanted to do was jump up and down and yell, “Moose!”
The rain held off on our ascent, but the ground was wet and the moist aromas it had awakened surrounded us. Clouds and mist moved in and out, revealing the mountains around us in shifts. The temperature was perfect, and we had the trail to ourselves. On our way down, a soft rain started. I was by myself, in between groups. I had this moment of complete exhilaration, a hiking high. A heady blend of the power of my own body to carry me through this misty mountain magic, sharing it with animals whose presence felt like a soft, whispered reminder of how connected we are, and the elevated mood of our group resulting from this experience. Get High with BSY, indeed.