Underserved urban youth are hitting the trails and enjoying all the natural world has to offer while learning about life and the beauty of the wilderness. Part of a recent journey involved both the physical world and a trip into the mind while learning to apply the yoga principles of exercise and meditation to explore the power of the inner self.
Outward Bound Adventures (OBA) has been working with youth in the Pasadena community and throughout Los Angeles County for 56 years. Founded by teacher Helen Mary Williams, the aim was – and still is – to give students the chance to get away from the city and learn to enjoy nature in all its glory. OBA just completed its 49th consecutive summer at Golden Trout Wilderness School, in the Eastern Sierras. Three dozen youth, ages 13-18, spend 4 days in camp and then 5 days backpacking through beauty of the John Muir Wilderness.
Indigo Yoga’s Viviana Valladares recently accompanied a group of teenagers on a trip to the great outdoors. “Yoga has become an exercise this side of the world but, in reality, the aim of yoga is to get your body ready for meditation,” Valladares says, adding that focusing on your breath and being fully present helps mental wellbeing.
The OBA hiking experience lasted for just over 8 days and is a vital trip for anyone looking to promote mindfulness, according to Valladares. In addition to promoting mindfulness, Outward Bound Adventures looks to focus on things like team building and leadership skills, physical challenge, stewardship, and outdoor careers and conservation.
For those transformed by an OBA trip, OBA also helps with work experience placements and has so far secured employment with agencies such as the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, the Mountains Restoration Conservation Authority, the Mountains Restoration Trust and many others.
Families are also able to undertake the outdoor experience together. The organization’s family camping program is aimed at urban communities who have never slept under the stars, cooked a meal together or set family goals.
Combining the OBA experience with a class at Indigo Yoga is sure to leave you feeling refreshed, renewed and full of wonder at your body and the earth you live on.
Indigo Yoga is located at 1968 Lake Ave., Unit 103, in Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 223-2045 or visit http://indigoyogahouse.com/.
Outward Bound Adventures (OBA) is located at 1905 Lincoln Ave. #D417, in Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 564-0844 or visit www.obainc.org.