Great. Out. Doors.

This is a guest post from Lifestyle patient Caitlin Collignon.


My husband and I climbed a local mountain for our first date. One month into our relationship, we backpacked section J of the PCT. Two years later, we got engaged at Manaslu Base Camp in Nepal and last weekend we said “I Do” on top of Mt. Baker. To celebrate? We headed to the North Cascades to climb Black Peak, of course. You see, the mountains are where we find everything important to us.

Our officiant nailed it. Our GOD is the Great Out Doors. It’s where we go to check out of the high energetic flow of the city life and reconnect with our roots, reconnect with ourselves. The fresh air brings us into clarity and simplicity, while a good a** kicking shows us our weaknesses and creates strength in its place. Our religion is nature. We turn to it both in good times and those that are more trying. There is something about sitting down, just you and the Great Out Doors and having an honest conversation. And climbing, well that’s where I get to confront the part of me that needs the most work. The side that isn’t always positive and optimistic, the side of me that sometimes wants to just scream and quit. The beauty of all of this is that it forces me to lay it all out, and then deal with it. Nature gives me space, silence, and reflection, and without it- I wouldn’t have this life, and this life is beautiful.

Just like the Mountains, I find everything they offer every day on my Yoga Mat. It’s having practices such as these in my life, that have shown me the beauty of life. They have guided me towards my career as a yoga teacher and Ayurvedic Counselor, they have given me the strength I need to travel far, climb high and speak up. Life isn’t supposed to be comfortable, it is about working hard to become the best person you can, then laying it all out and seeing where you can work harder. My recipe for a happy life… get outside, climb mountains, step onto my mat every day, live in accordance with nature, eat lots of vegetables and do it all mindfully, practicing self-care whenever possible.

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