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October 5, 2012

Yoga Journal Estes: An Escape into the Wild. ~ Anthony Actis

Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden that, “On tops of mountains, as everywhere to hopeful souls, it is always morning.”

The essence of Colorado permeates one upon exiting the car at Yoga Journal in Estes Park. I arrived this afternoon on the first cold day of Colorado’s front range, sporting nothing more than my flip flops, jorts and a light pullover.

I find it infinitely calming to meander throughout the mountains. Perhaps it’s due to growing up in Colorado—the still and open nature to the Rockies beckons me constantly, as if it were an inescapable drug.

As we walked around the campus of the YMCA retreat, jagged granite peaks peeked over the surrounding hillsides glimmering with snow. Inside the vendor marketplace, puffy coats disappeared and shining smiles from various yogis and yoginis filled the room with a delightful ambiance.

The Yoga Journal Conference has already promised me so much, or at least Colorado has. The weekend line up of world-class asana teachers will surely offer as much opportunity for introspection and change as the yellowing aspen leaves nearby, the rays of sun shining through onto forest canopies, and the potential forecast for snow in the coming days.

Tomorrow morning my asana schedule begins. Until then, I think I’ll try not to have too many more delectable samples of raw, fair-trade, non-gmo chocolate, while embracing the greatest backyard that one can imagine: the mountains.

Anthony Actis is starting up the next chapter of his life as a graduate student in Hydrology. He recently spent five weeks driving 8600 miles from London, England to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to raise money for The Lotus Children’s Centre in Ulaanbaatar and have himself a proper adventure. He is a scientist, an engineer, a philosopher, a yogi, an adventurer, sometimes a bit of a lush (although increasingly less often) and completely drawn toward everything associated with his native homeland of Colorado. He finished a 200-hr teacher training in Denver but wants to grow his personal practice and knowledge further before teaching (if he ever does want to teach). As a citizen of the world, he is enamoured with francophile culture, asking difficult questions, people watching, airports, being uncomfortably polite and courteous, early morning asana, existentialism, pain au chocolate, fake mustaches, awkward facial expressions and Oxford commas.

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