Mt. Rubidoux – Riverside CA

My friend Sharon knows the truth about me. She knows that I will go hiking and that I have the ability to do a strenuous hike but she also knows that I don’t really LIKE hiking. I love getting to see the view from the top. I love the camaraderie of hiking with a group of friends and I also love what hiking does for my body. But for some reason it’s just not my “go to” form of exercise.

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I am first and foremost a yogi. I practice yoga for about an hour each morning at home. It helps me be more flexible, it gets my blood flowing and my brain active and it also helps me be in a positive mood. After my yoga practice I like to do something else that is complementary to a healthy/happy lifestyle. Sometimes I ride my bike or paddle board. Sometimes I swim or go to a Zumba class. Today I hiked Mt. Rubidoux in Riverside, CA.

I guess it’s not really fair to call what I did today “hiking.” That word brings forth images of climbing over rocks and roots, needing to use my hands to pull myself up higher and I certainly didn’t need to do that! The trail at Mt. Rubidoux is a gentle up hill walk. The 3 mile trail is wide, flat and paved. I was there at 8am and already there was a steady stream of people. I saw folks running, moms pushing strollers, groups of ladies visiting and even a guy walking his gorgeous Iguana!!!!!! That was a first for me!

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Mt. Rubidoux is just short of 1400 feet in altitude but from its peak you are awarded a 360 degree view of the surrounding neighborhoods, downtown Riverside and the mountains nearby. The terrain on the mountain is very different from what I am used to in the Pacific Northwest. Here it is very dry and brown. Big rocks poke out of the earth or stack on top of each other. Small scrubby bushes cling to every centimeter of earth in search of water.

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The thing that I loved the most about my walk today was how happy everyone was! Many people said hello or morning as we passed. One of the stroller moms gave me directions about how the trail worked. I gave and received exuberant high fives from several people running down from the summit and another person even stopped to help me pick trash out of the bushes! It was definitely a peaceful community feeling.

This is what exercise and being in nature does for us humans. It gives us a chance to remember that we all have a hard time walking up hill! That we are all on this planet together. That we are trying to be healthy and fit. That this is our community, our park and we should work together to keep it clean. And that it’s a good thing to cheer each other on!

I hope you are able to find a little peace in your life today.

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The Constancy of Change

It’s getting really empty in here! I’m down to one fork, one plate and one cup. All traces of “me” are being erased and packed away in cardboard boxes and big black plastic bags. It feels really strange. It’s not my home anymore. I’m basically camping in my RV – The Gypsy Love Bus for one more week until the buyers come pick her up.

I’ve been trying to write this post for about a month. I have such a heavy feeling in my heart that I can’t shake. I am getting ready to move – again. This time I will be moving to Southern California to be with my boyfriend while he works in a two-year contract position. I’ve moved before. In fact, I’ve moved a lot! My whole life has been one move after another. You’d think I’d be used to it by now – even enjoy it – and sometimes I do. But not this time. I’m trying really hard to find the positive in this next chapter but I just keep feeling sad and a little angry.

I don’t know what is wrong with me! I love sunshine. I will have a pool to swim in every day if I want. I think I even found a place to work and a Massage Therapy school to attend……So why do I feel like this move is such a CHORE? Why do I hang my head and think, “I can do this, I can endure it”?

I visited southern California last week and while I was there I called my daughter to try to explain to her how I was feeling. “I feel lonely here. I want to live closer to you. I miss my friends. I’m not sure I’ll fit in down here, I miss my community….etc.” And she responded by saying, “Let me get this straight, it’s warm and sunny, your wonderful boyfriend is taking care of you, and you’re sitting at the pool? Boy, MOM, that sounds awful!” Her sarcasm made me laugh as I realized the absolute absurdity of my complaints.

Even though I know she is right, my heart is still heavy…..I’m working on looking at the positive. I pack up another box and put it into storage. I prepare to say goodbye to my co-workers, friends and family. I hike in the woods often to remind myself of how lovely and green it is in the Pacific North West AND I remind myself that the winter here is gray and cloudy and awful!

I keep trying to look at it as though I’m off on another adventure. That I LOVE having adventures and exploring new places. There will be new parks to hike, places to explore and new friends!

So, wish me luck in my next adventure! Please send love and light and uplifting thoughts. I need them. I’m having a hard time with this one. Hugs Y’all.

Reveille Yoga – Riverside CA

Reveille – The bugle call first thing in the morning to wake you. The “get up and get your day started right now” push that we all need each morning to energize, awaken and motivate us to get a move on! Reveille Yoga in downtown Riverside, California is where I found my wake up call last week.

As Jenny Montenegro walked into the room I wondered if she is from somewhere tropical – somewhere like Belize or Portugal. Her skin is golden brown, she has long dark hair and when she smiles the light reaches up into her brown eyes. Jenny is an artist. On the mat and off. She has an MFA in Studio Art & Design from UC/San Bernardino. And that flair, that artist’s style is evident in her yoga practice as well.

She started us off with a short, gentle meditation and then moved us smoothly into a challenging flow that incorporated Suria Namaskar B – or Sun Salutation B. As Jenny guided us in her soft, gentle voice I found myself challenged and sweating more than usual!

I tried to chalk it up to the California weather – It Is HOTTER there. And then I tried to tell myself that Jenny is much younger than I…..but the truth is probably closer to the fact that I don’t practice enough on my own. The ladies to either side of me seemed to be just fine! Sure I teach a full load of classes (9 per week right now) but practicing on my mat – on my own is not something I push myself to do enough. Is it ever enough?

As we came to the end of practice Jenny said it was time for inversions. I mentally kicked myself for requesting Sirsasana at the beginning of class when she asked if anyone had a pose they wanted to include. I was tired, but being the brave, badass, sometimes crazy yogi than I am, I pulled it off. Two Shaky, rocking, weak headstands – Hooray!

Reveille is a lovely studio located in the historic down town core of Riverside. It is just steps away from the historic and amazing Mission Inn.  It’s a great area to walk and check out the local shops. Wear shorts and flip flops because It’s warm and drop in to a class with Jenny! I promise you’ll get your wake up call!