Yoga and the Adirondacks were meant for each other. Each summer and fall my mom, sister and I practice outside on the dock at the lake's edge. It's the most perfect place. The lake is the purest lake I've ever seen – not just pure as in clean, but pure as in magical, filled with love and blessings.
My family has owned a camp in Brandreth Park just outside of Long Lake since I was born, and I have been going there all my life. Now, at 24 years old, I have literally traveled around the world and I still haven't come across a place as special as the Adirondacks.
We always go up around Christmas and in the heart of the wilderness, I've never felt such stillness. Being in the Adirondack woods in the dead of winter can either be the loneliest place, or the most therapeutic place, depending on how you look at it. I love it.
...in the heart of the wilderness, I've never felt such stillness.
Even in winter, we practice yoga in the living room looking out the big windows towards the frozen lake, followed by a long snow shoe or cross country ski. When a lot of our friends and family are "up at camp," I'll teach free yoga classes out on our porch. There's always so much laughter, and unless we drink too much wine, I normally end each day feeling cleansed and more blessed than ever.
My family's camp is about an hour away from the nearest grocery store, so it's all home cooking for us. We cook great, big, healthy meals and have a family dinner every night. To me, happiness is being with my family, being outside, feeling healthy and doing yoga. It normally all comes together in Brandreth, and that's when and where I'm truly happy.
We don't have cell service or Wi-Fi on our property, so there isn't a temptation to check phones or email – not that we want to when we're there. I go there feeling excited to shut down. It's the perfect place to look inward, take in the moment, and just be grateful. It seems like the rest of society is worlds away. This is important to me: to stop and just be grateful. Whenever I'm in a bad mood I will stop and think: be grateful for your breath and for your ability to make choices. You can do anything you want in life.
The practice of yoga is about connecting your body and soul, and moving with fluidity and awareness. In the wilderness of the Adirondacks, this part of you becomes part of it, body, soul and nature as one. In the right state of meditation you can feel yourself rooted to the earth as if the universe is inside you. I'm not going to lie – I don't get this feeling anywhere else.