From Mat to Mud

Once upon a time, my world caught fire. You see, I used to practice yoga on my mat, syncing movement to breath on a hardwood floor. Then one day, I unexpectedly transitioned from studio to stream, and began connecting movement not only to breath, but to the rhythms of existence. The confluence of nature and asana took that spark I had been developing on my mat and ignited it into a love of what I now call “yogaventures.”

I say unexpectedly because Kate and I were driving home from an average Sunday hangout session at a random destination when we were suddenly struck by the beauty of the weather. A dense fog coated the landscape as we pulled over the car and felt the urge to photograph the scene before us. The air so thick you could barely see through it, the trees barren with threats of winter’s snow, and two souls inspired to express our exuberance through yoga. It was in this moment that our yogaventures came into existence as we attempted to capture in photographs the feelings of honesty, serenity, and grace that emerged from within us. At the heart of a yogaventure is a moment so inspiring that it moves you to “strike a pose”…a sight of beauty that can only be enhanced when paired with yoga.

As Kate and I continued to partner yoga with our sense of adventure, we found ourselves as camels on the beaches of LBI, trees among trees in the outskirts of towns, or even celebrating the arrival of fall as dancers in a stream. There is something so raw and genuine about practicing yoga in nature. It becomes an act of appreciation and gratitude, or a surrender to experiencing life as a yoga practice because when you take your practice from mat to mud, you immerse yourself in the unpredictable conditions, uneven surfaces, cold waters, and overwhelming beauty that is the real world. Life isn’t a climate-controlled room with a pad under your feet. Like a yogaventure, it’s messy, surprising, chaotic, and exciting.   LBI Dover, NJ 1 Dover, NJ Chester, NJ

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