"What are men to rocks and mountains?" - Jane Austen
I've done the math. I live most of my life in an office, behind a desk. Ugh, I really just said that out-loud. That's a tough reality to face some days (today is one of them).
The earth around us is a bookcase full of stories and secrets. The air we breathe and feel contains a wisdom worth grabbing. It makes sense that we need to tap into this fountain of purity every so often.
Alas, I am drawn to the mountains of southeast Wyoming on a relatively warm, late September day. The trees are turning, leaves beginning to fall, and I enjoy the comfortable chill of an early Autumn. My favorite part about fall is the aroma...an ancient, familiar smell. For years, companies have been trying to capture the pure essence of autumn...but no one can quite get it right. You have to go there, sit there, be there.
Photo: Brush Creek Ranch, west side of the Snowy Mountain Range in southeast Wyoming (WY-660).
Practicing yoga in the mountains is like dancing in your room when no one is watching. The mind is still, thinking about anything seems to rarely happen. Every pose feels like natural perfection. Every moment is slower, because every cell and every molecule matters. Part of this perfection is because I become absolutely carefree. I can't help but just stand still, balance and raise my arms up high into an endlessly changing atmosphere. It reminds me of frequent nights in college (prepare yourself for nerd-dom). We would walk up the hill behind campus late at night to watch the stars and satellite passing by. Often times we would see the Milky Way and Northern Lights (northern Vermont). It was there I discovered the feeling of tranquil insignificance. Practicing yoga under the big open sky is a very similar experience.
Yoga in the mountains creates a boundless and carefree connection - something we should try to bring indoors to our mats.
Outside I feel rooted, radiant and rested. It's a place where stress and responsibilities blow away unnoticed. The wind blazes past me and the grass pushes my legs aside. Nothing matters, or everything matters equality.
Photo: Golden aspen trees on west side of Snowy Range (WY-130)
May it's my age talking, but I find myself retreating into my "lounge" clothes, faster and faster each day. I usually resemble a toddler after bath time by 6:30 PM. I'm in "lounge" clothes almost instantly after coming home from work...itching to take off anything that is grabbing or clinging too tightly to my screaming skin.
I'm constantly looking for comfortable clothes to wear, but those that I can move and work-out in as well. That combination of clothing-love is exactly what attracted me to these two Black Diamond shirts.
I really have discovered the two most wonderful shirts on the planet. Black Diamond's Ancient Art Tee (short sleeve) and Fine Jade Tunic (long sleeve). Both are comfortable, loose-fitting and made with a Merino wool blend. Stop cringing for just a second. Despite what you may be thinking (I know, because I thought the same thing), they are not itchy at all! Actually, the wool blend offers a little extra warmth (perfect for fall), and that natural organic feel.
With a light to medium thickness (and the fact that it's Black Diamond brand), you know the quality is reliable and trustworthy. Their clothes are for life. There is also plenty of room to layer with a tank top underneath if you so desire. Both shirts are roomy in the arms and shoulders (a common problem-area for me) and long enough to provide great low waist coverage.
There is room to breathe. I love how both shirts have partial open-back. Air can flow through naturally, adding to the comfort and an awakening sense of freedom. I could wear these every darn day!
OH! Another great thing about Black Diamond clothes...they have REAL sizes. I'm wearing a size small in both shirts. The company doesn't assume athletes and active-types are all thin or slender, especially women. Maybe it's just a marketing trick, but it certainly made me respect the company that much more. I'll be honest...it did feel good putting on a small when I'm normally a medium or large in active-wear.
Here's the difficult part to swallow. The Ancient Art Tee is $69 and the Fine Jade Tunic is $89. But wait...hear me out! If you are familiar with Black Diamond, you're still here, or you're interested in learning more about good quality, yay! I'm one of those people that will pay for something I know is good quality and will last a long time. Black Diamond Equipment is a company my husband and I trust with our life, literally. They are the leaders in hiking, rock climbing and snow sport gear. We buy from them and know our life is in good hands when we hit the outdoor scene for some adventure.
These shirts may not be your typical life-saving equipment, but they are worth the price. They are solid, good quality, comfortable and leaving you wanting more.
I have never bought a Black Diamond item and been disappointed. I tend to wait for sales (which happen often on their website) so my budget is still happy.
Hello, I'm Julie.
One of the many things yoga taught me was empowerment...and I hope to share that with you here.
Bring wisdom, nourishment and a deeper connection to all aspects of your life.