“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self”, The Bhagavad Gita. Every practice of yoga that I follow, I learn something new about myself. At the start of practice, I take an upright position in Sukhasana. My hands are open, my palms facing the sky. I focus all my attention on breathing or Pranayama. I inhale through the nose, slowly filling up my lungs and pausing for a moment. Then, I exhale forcefully through the mouth, using my abdominal muscles to push. I cycle through my breaths, clearing my mind of any thoughts of the past and the future.

I am present, ready to start flowing. My main focus is driven on the feeling of my body throughout each pose. I am aware of how my muscles react to changes and my fluctuating breaths as the intensity of movement progresses. As I begin my practice, I start off with static, stretching poses that prepare my body for harder work. As the hour ticks by, I build my flow with a series of challenging poses. I am no longer static, but dynamic. I recite the flow of Vinyasa in my head. I add on to the sequence until I feel satisfaction. At the end of practice, I end with a spiritual pose, Shavasana. I lay on my back, close my eyes and allow my body to breathe naturally. This eliminates any tension from my body and helps me reflect on my practice.

Similar to my yoga practice, Costa Brava’s scenic hike left me with a closer connection with my mind and body. Initially, I was intimidated by the 6-mile hike in the summer day’s heat. Before the trek, I took time to reflect on my main goal of this journey. My goal was to be present. Taking deep breaths brought me into a relaxed state that would prepare me for what was ahead. Although Costa Brava was not my first hiking experience, its scenic views of its clear water beaches and serene sounds of the forest left me with an everlasting imprint in my mind. I’ve never experienced such a peaceful yet challenging hike before. Our stop-and-go trek reminded me of my yoga flow, static and dynamic movement. This brought me to a mellow place of wanting to stay in this peaceful state forever. It was as if time stopped. Nothing mattered around me except for mother nature and I. My deep connection with nature reminded me to take time out of my day to enjoy the surroundings around me.

The trail, made up of steep steps and turns, overlooks the coast of Costa Brava.

I am surrounded by the beauty of nature with every scenic view that I photograph.

Kayakers depart from beach fronts and swim towards hidden areas of the coast. This moment reminds me of summer vacations with my family and our love to adventure on the water.

Taking a short break from the hike, we swam in the beautiful, blue body of water. Salty, chilly and filled with mother nature’s creations, this swim set my mind in a peaceful state.

Approaching the end of the hike, looking back at the coast is unreal. The fisherman’s houses, right on the shore, look like they belong in a fairytale.

Costa Brava’s fisherman’s houses add color to the coast. Each fisherman’s house has a colorful door which corresponds with their boat. Neat stuff!

 

// ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE EDITED //