Hiking Yoga

On Sunday, my BFF Amy and I headed out to San Francisco to enjoy a hiking yoga class. This was my second time taking “hoga” and I could seriously see myself doing it every weekend- exploring the city, climbing the hills, and enjoying the relaxation that comes with deep breathing and stretching, it’s a great recovery work out after a long run.  The lunch/wine/shopping that follows isn’t too bad either.

We took BART to the Embarcadero and met up with our fellow hoginis and instructor for the next 90 minutes, Christiane.

Let's hoga, y'all!

Our first jaunt was through this modern fountain of sorts, very cool, just a little stressful as I tend to be clumsy and had to keep telling myself, “Keep your eyes on the ground, don’t fall in, don’t push Amy in.”  Just kidding… I wouldn’t push Amy in… well maybe I would but she is really good company and holding my camera so she can stay on land this time.

through the fountain

We climbed stairs and steep hills and stopped at 4 different locations for some yoga poses- each location more beautiful than the last.  It was very overcast so my pics didn’t come out too well but trust me when I say that there is no other skyline quite like San Francisco’s.  The water, the bridges, the architecture… I’ve lived in Oakland all of my life so never really appreciated the city in this way before.  The Hiking Yoga instructors choose from 4 different routes in SF, each exploring different areas of that lush city by the bay.

Transamerica Building is there, I swear

Each yoga station was probably about 5 minutes, the last station being the longest, about 15 minutes, with approximately 4 miles hiked total.  At each location, we stood in a circle and performed our poses while the instructor took turns correcting everyone’s form which I love.  The poses range in difficulty but I find them all to be challenging in a very good way!

Amy in Triangle Pose

Laura Backbending and Deep Breathing

But of course, I had to have at least one less-than zen moment. After leaving our 2nd yoga stop, I clocked my head on a low hanging, very thick tree branch. Amy laughed. I rubbed my head. Amy laughed again. She’s a real supportive friend like that.

And on we hiked…

this is what a city hike looks like!

Our 3rd stop was in a small park in front of a beautiful church where we were entertained by the shouts of homeless men and fighting dogs.  Once that abated, the quiet came and we held tree pose and took in our surroundings.  At one point, with just the soundtrack of the city humming around us, a huge flock of pigeons flew by our group. In that moment, those rat birds were beautiful- the subtle flapping of their wings right past us, and the grace that saved us from getting pooped on.  Ahhhhhh…

in Tree Pose studying actual trees, duh


Our hoga concluded at Grace Catherdral where we were given mini yoga mats to use for a plank series and some meditating.  I was feeling so relaxed at this point that I did not take any photos.  What can I tell you, I was in the moment and loving every minute of it.

Hiking Yoga burns about 800-900 calories so at the end of our 90 minutes, all we wanted to do was eat so we stopped at Gott’s Roadside, ordered up some red wine, fries & burgers, chowed, and chatted the afternoon away.

nom nom nom

After we polished off our well-earned meal, we did a little… well, actually, a LOT of shopping at the Ferry Building Marketplace.  Tons of organic, local, sustainable produce and meats and an array of specialty food stores- I could spend all of my money there, definitely.  I was so wrapped up in tasting the samples and drooling over all the amazing pastries and fresh oysters and small batch cheeses that I only snapped one picture, but it says a lot…

gorgeous heirlooms!

And here is a sampling of what I bought…

(mostly) healthy groceries

All in all, an amazing way to spend a day!  I just love hiking yoga! I highly recommend you visit their site and/or their Facebook page and check out a hoga class near you- please let them know you were referred by my blog!


5 thoughts on “Hiking Yoga

  1. Pingback: Today’s Reason: Running Buddies | running4thereason

  2. Pingback: Marathon Training: Weeks 15, 16, 17, 18 | running4thereason

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