Written by Lauri Nemetz, a guest-blogger from The Undress community.
When I was growing up, my family took long vacations involving car trips to different parts of the U.S. sandwiched with a week of wildlife camp in the middle. Along with my brother, I learned to hike, bird-watch, rock climb and even meditate. In between that time and full-on adulthood, I graduated from college, grad school, began working in both movement therapy and yoga as well as studying anatomy, which is a major part of my teaching these days. However, it wasn’t until a family reunion in Canada, when I was already a mother of two, that I learned how to kayak, taking me out of my comfort zone and into a new favorite outdoor activity.
I hadn’t considered myself a natural fit for kayaking. As a kid, I grew up in the Midwest, without a lot of swimming time. Kayaking wasn’t something that even crossed my mind, but after the first time I tried it in Canada, I was hooked. Floating just on top of the water, I had to learn how to relax and be alert at the same time to paddle comfortably. I found comfort in reading the water patterns and learning to spot changes in current or wind direction.
I also found that I could unplug from my outside life, and take in a new view of nature all around me. I combined outdoor yoga and kayaking with a friend’s company, which has brought me on several trips to Canada and Costa Rica, and I continue to work the combo on the Hudson River in NY, where I’m on the water at least once every week during the summer. I’m in constant process of improving my paddling skills while regularly teaching yoga for charity paddles and paddling symposiums.
This time outdoors has reinforced that early desire to get into nature. While I’m in several gym settings and also teach at a university that I love, my favorite way to get in my own exercise will always be outdoors. Whether walking or kayaking, I’m happier if I’m outside. Even headstanding is more fun when you have an interesting view! My boys (now both in high school) love to be in nature as well, and my youngest has recently taken to paddling with me. Connection with nature is a super way to feel great and one that many fans of the Undress already do. However, you might want to expand your horizons and try a different way to see the outdoors. Here are a few of my suggestions:
- Keep that spare pair of shoes (or even The Undress!) in your car. If they are in my car, I never have an excuse not to take a walk or run if I pass a trail, even when I’m time-crunched.
- Explore public art outdoors. Free apps allow you to listen to the artists speak. One of my favorites that is currently expanding is Otocast.
- Do you like to hike? Try getting out on a lake or river. Already kayak? Try rock climbing…Switch it up and whatever you do, find a great guide who can get you safely to a new level -- and take some friends along or make new ones! You’ll support local business as well.
- Find a new trail or blaze your own. Have one you love? Explore it in the opposite direction of your usual pattern and discover new things to see.
- Re-explore the playground. With or without kids, it’s a great place to hit in the middle of a run or even in the middle of a stressful week. Try the monkey bars or hop on the swing!
- Challenge yourself with a goal of a race, paddle or other event for charity. It feels great to do something healthy for yourself while benefitting others. I paddle as part of my local Paddle for a Cure (breast and ovarian cancer support), but there are many great organizations out there!
Whatever you do outside, remember these words from Aristotle, “In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” Enjoy!
About The Author
Lauri (Laurice) Nemetz, MA, BC-DMT, LCAT, ERYT500 is a yoga teacher, anatomy teacher, Anatomy Trains ® faculty, professor at Pace University, movement therapist, artist and a mom to two wonderful teenagers (really!)! She enjoys co-leading yoga/kayak trips in her “free time”. She works with Hudson River Expeditions in NY and with Seascape Kayak Tours in Canada and Costa Rica and teaches yoga and anatomy both locally and internationally. More about Lauri can be found on her website at www.wellnessbridge.com.
The views & opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of The Undress, Inc. as a whole. All photos courtesy of Lauri Nemetz, all on the Hudson River in NY.