If hiking is truly about the journey, Steve Tsilimoss is taking each step in the right direction. The new Hiking Yoga program he’s introduced to the Vail Valley this summer brings eastern philosophy to the Western Slope, where mindfulness meets movement.
“I think this program adds an important element to what yoga was founded on — serenity in being one with yourself and with nature — simply finding peace,” said Tsilimoss, a certified yoga instructor. “I think being up here, or anywhere, outside on a beautiful day creates more benefits than being in a studio.”
Tsilimoss’s most recent Saturday morning group excursion led hikers to Booth Falls out of the East Vail trailhead. The three-hour hike was taken at a moderate pace, stopping at three designated “yoga platforms” (relatively flat areas with stunning backdrops), one on the way up and one on the way down.
“It was so nice to do yoga outdoors, and what great views we had along the way,” said valley local Jay Hoff. “I don’t like to go indoors to exercise much — especially in the summer — so to do yoga on the side of a trail was perfect.”
Hiking Yoga was founded by Eric Kipp in San Francisco, explained Tsilimoss, who has been working with Kipp to bring the program to the Colorado mountains. Tsilimoss said he thinks he can bring a similar, well-received experience to anyone who is willing to try something new.
Designated hiking times, such as Saturday mornings, will be regularly scheduled, and Tsilimoss said he is willing to arrange private hikes for small or large groups.
“My goal is to offer an experience that gets people to really see the beauty that this area has to offer,” he said.
The program’s cross-training elements of cardio and agility are enough to stretch the interest of any athlete, but Tsilimoss said a variety of types of hikes present different levels of difficulty, so individuals can sign up for what is right for them. Participants are always given the option to take the hike at their own pace, and can even stay in a certain spot to relax if they are uncomfortable with the level of excursion.
“It’s going to be a little harder than a yoga class alone, because there’s cardio involved,” Tsilimoss explained. “But I think different hikes will attract different people, either introducing hiking or yoga, and the combination of them together.”
For more information on Hiking Yoga, call Steve Tsilimoss at 970-306-6162, or visit www.facebook.com/hikingyogavail.