My daily meditation: hiking by the river and through the woods

Author: Cass Lievsay

Hiking is where I found out who I really am.

Going hiking each day with my dogs is both cathartic and meditative. It’s a beautiful meditation in nature that fulfills my needs both physically and spiritually. Each day I find myself on a mental journey that is neither planned nor expected but I allow myself to be vulnerable and therefore I am taken places I would otherwise not know.

Each experience is new and refreshing and such a gift. I’ve learned so much about myself.

Everything I have learned has been inside me all of these years but until I was able to tap into this moving meditation — which happened quite by surprise—I would have never discovered these aspects of my make-up. Over the years I’ve tried journaling (definitely not my jam) and quiet meditation indoors (I fall asleep). So when I began hiking just to take my dogs on a walk in nature I was suddenly and unexpectedly transported spiritually. I love the quiet. The beauty and peace that surround me both energizes and calms me. Often I am so lost in thought that I forget exactly where I am, but my feet and my doggies know! I don’t always choose quiet on my hikes. I often listen to a book, invite a friend or even chat on the phone, but I spend plenty of the time in silence. The pure joy, bliss and gratitude I experience in these journeys are both physical (I literally feel like my heart could explode with gratitude) and deeply spiritual.

I’ve made some very deep and heavy life decisions on these hikes. I’ve figured things out that were roadblocks in my head anywhere else. I NEED this time in nature. It’s something I do every day—just like taking a shower or brushing my teeth. It’s part of my day. A priority. Hiking might not be for everyone but for me, it fills my soul, gives me peace and clarity and is what I need during this beautiful journey of life.

Here are a few pictures from the Fall transition from my hiking route near Jones Bridge Park.

Cass Lievsay has been studying yoga for nearly 20 years. Her first yoga class as a student was in the Iyengar style where she took class 4 times a week for four years. When her teacher moved out of state, she began exploring other yoga disciplines and continues to do so today. Cass received her formal 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training through Soulful Yoga and SUP under the watchful support and guidance of Laura McCrory, among other influential teachers including Jody Struminger and TJ Mangrum.. Trained in a Kriya-based practice, Cass continues to make it her life’s mission to introduce people to the beautiful practice of yoga and all of its benefits. An avid hiker, Cass takes her retired racing Greyhounds out for a hike on the Chattahoochee every day. Other than hiking, she really enjoys spending time with her college sweetheart, and now husband, and their two daughters and of course, practicing yoga. 

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