Raw, idiom: 14a. in the natural, uncultivated, or unrefined state: nature in the raw.

I stumbled across this little gem yesterday -- Sleeping Bag Yoga: Stretch! Relax! Energize! for Hikers, Bikers & Kayakers, by Erin Widman.  Isn't it cute?  What a great idea.

Sure, yoga is one of the few "sports" you can take with you wherever you go.  But as much as I love to travel, my body gets achy and hungers for its daily Bikram yoga routine as soon as I hit the road.  The lack of the heated room (and, thus, the lowered workout intensity) is the only drawback that really prevents me from taking off into the wild unknown for a month or two.

So here's a little something to take along next time you spend a few days lost in Yosemite or biking through the Badlands.  It's a great idea; a soft book you can easily squeeze into your backpack that will bring release and relaxation to your tired body at the end of the day.

Here's a blurb from the Introduction:
You don’t have to be an extreme-sports activist to derive benefits from Sleeping Bag Yoga, nor do you need any previous yoga experience. These positions have been culled from a wide range of possibilities with simplicity and safety in mind. If you kayak and beach camp for a few days, your upper body will get a workout as your lower body stiffens in the tight compartment of your boat. Stretching at the end of the day will be soothing and relaxing. A routine in the morning will revitalize you for another day of paddling so you can continue your adventure in the spirit of play. Yoga can confer similar benefits when you’re hiking—whether it’s months on the Pacific Crest Trail or even a day hike in the Olympic Mountains. Yoga literally means “to yoke” or “union”; therefore any moment that we are strong in our body and in tune with our surroundings, we are linked into all that yoga has to offer.

While geared to enhance the capabilities of the body in sport, the yoga positions presented here also encourage alignment and harmony with nature. They draw upon and express a yogic philosophy that all of nature, including our bodies, is simply an expression of a divine spirit at play, that life is a gift to be received. This view confirms what hikers, bikers, and paddlers already know; we act from this perspective every time we set out on an excursion. When the strong current, the steep mountain pass, or the headwind we face is received as a gift, as an expression of a powerful spirit, our ability to align and move along with it is greatly enhanced. Enlightenment is simply a moment when we experience divinity through the actions of our body and mind; it is a moment when we are in total harmony with the beauty of the world around us.
Right on.  Pick it up for your favorite hiker-biker-kayaker-traveler-yogi-whatever.


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