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What it’s Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

I love flying in helicopters. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve done it so when an opportunity presented itself last week to try heli yoga in the mountains, I was in. I admit that yoga isn’t really my thing – but I figured it could be when it’s on a mountaintop. I don’t know my downward dogs from my tree poses but I was prepared to follow the yoga instructor and try my best. As Robin Esrock, author of The Great Canadian Bucket List, says “prefix heli in front of any other word, the result can only sound impossibly and incredibly cool.”

There was another bonus to doing this trip. Robin Esrock was going to be there – in large part to promote a couple of his new books. As he’d been kind enough to offer a testimonial for my book – Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures, I was keen to finally meet the guy and hear about his latest adventures.

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

Robin Esrock doing his best with yoga

I got that in spades. Jody Robbins from Travels With Baggage and myself joined Robin and his father on a ride in a Ford Explorer from Calgary. We had a full hour to chat about writing, books, tours, travel and all the cool features of the Ford vehicle we were riding in. Bum massagers anyone? That’s one of the latest add-ons both driver and front seat passengers can enjoy. Robin was having great fun with the massager on his drive from Vancouver east with his father. When his dad started dozing off, he’d turn on the bum massage and wake him up – all in good fun of course.

After our arrival at the Kananaskis location for Rockies Heli Canada, Robin gave a talk about what makes an item bucket list worthy. Heli yoga is one of the bucket list experiences he included in his first book and to make it there it had to have these attributes – unique in the world, memorable for the rest of your life, make a great story and be something everyone can actually do – cue yours truly.

Getting to the Mountaintop by Helicopter

I love the bird’s eye view you get from a chopper – especially in an area I want to explore. The only downside was the speed in which we were able to get to the top of the mountain – six minutes tops. I would have loved an hour long tour to check out all the routes I’d like to hike and backpack one day.

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

Our helicopter pilot has decades of experience

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

The view of Barrier Lake on the way up to the mountain top

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

Coming in with the second load

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

Prairie crocus are managing to survive the dry conditions

Heli Yoga in the Mountains

I can see the appeal of yoga on a mountain top. Fresh air and communing with nature certainly add to the experience. So does the odd ant and fly – but we were told to ignore them- and concentrate on breathing. I can do that! Over 30 minutes we were led by the lovely Hilary Young, co-owner of The Yoga Lounge in Canmore. She geared the experience to the yoga novice – so I didn’t feel out of place. The time flew by and I did find myself relaxing in the sun’s embrace. I may not be signing up for any yoga classes here in Calgary but I’d do yoga on a mountaintop in a heartbeat again.

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

Prepping for yoga

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

I’m preparing myself for yoga and centering my breathing

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

Yoga on a mountain top

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

Robin Esrock’s father learning the downward dog

What its Like to do Heli Yoga in the Rocky Mountains

Smoothie refreshment at the end of yoga

Yoga may not be for everyone but I bet it’s safe to say that anyone given the opportunity to try heli yoga on a mountain top would seize it.

A big thank you to Brookline PR for inviting me out and to Ford Canada for helping to make it all happen.

If you’d like to win a copy of one of Robin’s latest books – The Great Western Canada Bucket List or the The Great Canadian Prairies Bucket List – leave a comment and tell me where you’d like to try yoga – by Saturday, May 14th at 6 PM MT. You’ll have 24 hours to reply to my email.

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
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Author Leigh

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure – & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project – a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Judy Martin says:

    I’d do yoga on a mountain top any time too, ants and flies, notwithstanding! Beautiful views while engaging in a relaxing exercise – what a super experience. Great photos Leigh, as always.
    My choice would be yoga at Lake O’Hara (Opabin Plateau) – gorgeous!

  • Janelle Whelpton says:

    I love this article, i love to do yoga on mountain and travel also, last month i went to Himalaya with my yoga friends, i have joined the 200 hrs ttc at shiva tattva yoga gurukul. i really enjoyed the mountain yoga at rishikesh.

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