Sure, I’ve done my fair share of yoga. A small room, cramped with bodies held taut by stretchy fabric, hard as hell to keep focused when someone’s arse in inches away from your nose, and the instructor’s voice quivers between militant and mothering.
My first time in the Rockies, and flying through the air in Rockies HeliTours Jet Ranger, I feel like I’m starring in a commercial for glacial water, or maybe an expensive blue-bottled aftershave. We land atop a knoll, the wind so brisk and fresh it blasts the magic of the mountains right through me. Our instructor Martha lays out a mat, and commences her hatha yoga class. In every direction, there are breathtaking snowcapped mountains, and the biggest sky, cradling us like softballs in the largest mitt of all.
Downward dog is that wonderful pose where everyone gets to moon heaven, and the view, between the legs, is usually someone else’s head. This time, I see the early spring sun glimmer off a glacier, clouds skipping off the rocky peaks. Somehow, I’m supposed to focus and concentrate on my breath, my stretch, my body. Martha is beaming with the kind of positive energy that only comes from years of yoga, coupled with time well spent in the inspiring Albertan wilderness. Maybe, just maybe, I can suck in a piece of that.
So I close my eyes, aware of the air surrounding me, the mountains, the melting snow. For the briefest of moments, I breathe with the wind, one with the elements. I open my eyes, and return to reality. Heli-yoga, when all is said and done, feels a lot more like a dream.