Yoga & Hiking Retreat – Winter Park, CO – June 2017

Brian and I had made a last minute decision to sign up for a Yoga & Hiking retreat this weekend, offered by our gym (Colorado Athletic Club). The kids were off for a weekend with Grandma, while we were in for a weekend of, well, probably lots of yoga & hiking, lol!

We checked in at the Vintage Hotel in Winter Park, and met Lexi, one of our CAC hosts for the weekend. Unfortunately, the hotel didn’t have our room ready, so we took the Cabriolet gondola into the village to explore a bit.

Back at the hotel at exactly 4pm, which is when our room was promised… they still weren’t ready. And our first yoga class was in just a few minutes, so the delay caused a bit of stress and frustration. We ended up making it in plenty of time, but it would have been nice to have a more relaxing start to the trip.

Our first yoga class was on the lawn at the top of the hill behind the hotel. I don’t think I’ve ever done yoga outside, it definitely adds some more elements to it, dealing with the sun and wind! It was a good class, and I was relieved to see that, while challenging, it wasn’t totally beyond my capabilities. I hadn’t done much yoga in the last few years, so I had been a bit nervous about it.

Afterwards, we all went into the village together to have dinner. The Cabriolet had stopped running so we had to walk, but it wasn’t too far. It was a generally pleasant evening, chatting and getting to know the other retreaters. I’m not always the most sociable person, but didn’t find tonight to be too stressful, at least.

The next morning, we had sunrise yoga, again on the lawn. One thing most of us were not quite prepared for – it was COLD! It had been so warm the previous afternoon, but we should have known better in the mountains. The sun felt so good when it finally started coming up over our frozen bodies in the grass.

We had breakfast together in the hotel, and then were headed out to a nearby trail to hike up a mountain, and do more yoga there. We rode with a nice lady and her dog, and grouped up again with everyone at the traillhead.

I had worried looking at the schedule, that they were not allowing nearly enough time for these hikes. They must have realized that too, and had made some last minute adjustments, but the pace was still brutal. It didn’t help that I somehow, by dumb luck, ended up at the very front of the group. And felt a lot of pressure to keep up.

This would end up being one of the lowest spots of the trip for me, feeling so frustrated that I was having such a hard time keeping the pace, when it seemed so easy for everyone else. In fairness, it was STEEP! And I don’t think I would have felt so stressed if I had been farther back, and been able to see that not everyone was sprinting up the mountain. But, by the time we got to the top, I was not in great spirits.

The yoga at the top did help a little, certainly no denying the amazing views. We had been told it would all be “standing yoga” so no need to bring our mats today.

The trip back down was easier, of course, but I still felt like everyone was going faster than I was comfortable with. We had lunch together, in the village again, then a few hours of free time.

We headed to the pool first – it felt great to cool off after the hot, hard hike that morning. We didn’t stay too long though, as we wanted to have time to go back into the village for the alpine slide.

It had been a lot of years since I did one, and they are scary! I felt bad that the people behind me couldn’t go as fast as they obviously wanted to, but we had all been in the “slow lane”, so they had to share some of the blame for that too.

We had dinner with the group back at the hotel, then went for a soak in the hot tub before bed.

The next morning we were given a quick breakfast to eat in the room, before embarking on another yoga-hike. This time we would be hiking to the top of one of the ski hills. I had spent a good deal of time the night before mentally preparing myself, to hopefully have a better experience today. I decided to make sure i ended up at the back of the group, and was simply going to go my pace and not worry about everyone else.

It was long, and steep, and hot. But my plan mostly worked. It turned out there were several other slow-goers, and we crawled our way up, well behind the rest of the group. I think the instructors had wanted to have one of them at the back, but with my encouragement, they went on ahead and left us to our fate.

I ended up not being quite the last one, and I was generally in sight of at least one other person. But for the most part, I felt like I was much more on my own, and much happier that way, lol! So I was in much better spirits when I finally rejoined the group at the top.

The yoga class here was my favorite of the weekend. I actually enjoyed the sun beaming down on me (I’m usually a bit of a sun-phobe). A good way to end it, for sure.

We rode the chair lift down, needing to get back to the hotel and get on the road home.

We stopped in Empire, CO for lunch at the original “Hard Rock Cafe”, as in mining, not music, lol! Then we had to get home and collect the kids, and get Lily taken to camp at CU that same night. What a weekend!