On the trail, to "Yogi" someone is to strongly hint at a favor needed. Normally it is used in the following context "I yogi-ed a ride into town" or "I am going to yogi those day hikers and see if I can get some food."
But in Santa Cruz, in preparation for my hike I've been doing an entirely different type of "yogi-ing." Which is to say I've been practicing yoga for the first time in two years. I am trying to "loosen up" my muscles before the AT.
But man does it feel good to get back on the mat. My hamstrings are so tight, but I'm happy to report that my hips are as open as ever... I'm also starting to gain back shoulder strength that I definitely lost. I can actually do a kind-of chataranga again. It's very satisfying to reclaim lost strength.
At the class I was at last night we started by picking a mantra we would repeat to ourselves as we practiced our breath. I picked "Joy."
Joy is kind of my thing; I feel a deep and personal connection to joy on many levels. I had a very important Grandmother named Joy. My middle name is joy. I lead a joy filled life. Sometimes I feel like I'm overflowing. So I lay on the ground in that yoga class an said joy to myself over and over again.
You know how words can lose their meaning when you say them too many times? This didn't happen. I felt filled.
I'm looking forward to my hike. There will be really truly miserable days. Days when my feet are pruny and painful, days where the mosquitoes cannot be escaped, days when my legs are so sore they feel as though they may fall off. I hope to face it all with joy.
Joy will be my mantra for this adventure, because that is the kind of person I want to be. So I shall be.