Yosemite National Park, A Yoga and Backpacking Adventure2020-01-08T20:26:46-05:00

Yosemite National Park

A Yoga and Backpacking Adventure

with Ransom Hare

June 15–20, 2020

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Explore the grandeur of Yosemite National Park on this purpose-driven yoga and backpacking adventure.

Hike through meadows in the high country to camp along lakes and rivers, summit a mountain with 360 degree views and descend into the valley beside the famous Yosemite Falls. Discover the power of practicing yoga in such an extraordinary space with a conscious community of like-minded individuals, and connect with yourself and Yosemite in a way that will provide lasting fulfillment.

Excursion Overview

Excursion Overview

Discovery is at the heart of this program. With our yoga practice, we’ll discover how to reconnect with ourselves in a meaningful way. Through our hikes, we’ll discover the hidden essence that makes Yosemite so magical. Through our purpose-driven community, we’ll discover how a like-minded group setting can enhance our individual experience. Through the combination of all our experiences, we’ll discover what inspired us towards this journey, and how the lessons we learn along the way can lead us to live our best life.

What's Included:

  • An enthusiastic Himalayan Institute teacher and excursion leader
  • Two expert guides with an extensive knowledge of Yosemite National Park
  • Guided yoga and meditation practices tailored to this excursion
  • A diverse range of views and landscapes over 6 days of backpacking through Yosemite
  • Gear: single or shared tent, sleeping bag, pad, backpack, trekking poles
  • Continuous education on the history and habitat of Yosemite National Park
  • A like-minded community with a desire for purpose-driven adventure
  • Thoughtfully created vegetarian meals including 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Himalayan Institute Excursions branded merchandise

Key Highlights

Trek

Yoga

Experience the profound impact that yoga practice can have in a majestic setting like Yosemite National Park. Breath-coordinated movement will integrate balance and stability into our bodies to support the demands of our hikes, while guided meditations will allow your mind and body to find stillness, and connect deeply to the extraordinary space within and without.

Hiking and Yoga in the Smoky Mountains

Hiking

There’s no better way to experience Yosemite National Park than hiking through the back country. This excursion is designed to ease us into the hiking experience and take us to some of the most scenic spots in the park. We’ll move through beautiful meadows and evergreen forests, along alpine lakes and flowing rivers, and we’ll summit Mount Hoffman, the geographical center of Yosemite with 360 degree views of the park. After six days of hiking, you’ll leave Yosemite with a complete experience of the park.

Camping

Camping

Enjoy camping at four extraordinary destinations within the park. The first two nights we’ll camp above 9,000 feet along an alpine lake at the base of Mount Hoffman. The third night we’ll camp directly across from the iconic Half-dome, followed by a night next to Yosemite Creek just above Yosemite Falls, and finally we’ll descend into the valley to spend our final night in a forest beneath the towering granite walls that make Yosemite Valley so legendary.

Community

Community

At the heart of this excursion is a small community of like-minded individuals, each on their own purpose-driven adventure to explore and discover. With a maximum group size of 12 participants, our journey will foster meaningful relationships through group yoga practice, shared meals, hiking together, pitching campsites together, and sharing in all the extraordinary and challenging experiences that a trip like this will offer.

Itinerary

June 15–20, 2020

  • Day 1

    Mileage: 3.3 miles
    Meet in the front country at the Curry Village parking lot to get set up with your backpacking gear and an orientation to the Park. Afterwards, catch the morning shuttle to the trailhead near Tuolumne Meadows. Enjoy rugged wilderness vistas at Tenaya Lake (8,150′) and a short warm-up before a moderate 3.3 mile hike to May Lake at 9,329′. After setting up camp along the shore of this alpine lake, we’ll have our first yoga and meditation practice. After a delicious dinner prepared by our guides we will enjoy a magical sunset on the bluffs above the lake.

  • Day 2

    Mileage: 4 miles
    Start the morning with a yoga practice. After breakfast, embark on a 2 mile, 1,500 foot climb to the peak of Mount Hoffman (without full backpacks). Reaching the peak is worth the tough trek - it is the geographical center of the Yosemite National Park, and it provides a 360-degree perspective of the entire park. With incredible views of Half Dome, Cloud’s Rest, the Clark Range, the Cathedral Range and Tuolumne’s High Country, and of the park’s northern borders it is easy to understand why this huge exfoliating mountain was John Muir’s favorite view and an incredible space for a guided meditation practice. After you have had your fill of the overwhelming views from the peak, backtrack down the trail to May Lake. The evening will consist of gentle yoga and a guided relaxation capped off with a beautiful sunset.

  • Day 3

    Mileage: 8 miles
    After morning yoga practice and breakfast, we will hike downhill a total of 8 miles to the top of Snow Creek Falls (6,720′). Here we will set-up camp alongside a creek directly across from the sheer face of Half Dome. Enjoy a guided yoga and meditation practice, and some amazing views of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges.

  • Day 4

    Mileage: 7 miles
    Start the morning with a warm-up practice and hearty breakfast. Today, we will hike along the rim of the famous Yosemite Valley to a campsite above Yosemite Falls and along Yosemite Creek. Enjoy a guided yoga practice and take in an amazing sunset on the perch above the drop of Yosemite Falls.

  • Day 5

    Mileage: 3.5 miles
    After a guided practice and breakfast, we will descend to the Yosemite Valley via the 2.5-mile Yosemite Falls trail that descends alongside the famous Yosemite Falls. Return to the front country and set-up camp in the Backpackers Camp and spend the final afternoon exploring and enjoying the famous Yosemite Valley. Showers are available in nearby Curry Village.

  • Day 6

    Departure
    A final morning of practice and exploration including the Valley’s secret Indian Caves. Departure by noon from Curry Village.

    *Schedule subject to change
    **Additional yoga and meditation will be included during our hikes as time and space permit.

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Excursion Leader

Ransom Hare Himalayan Institute

Ransom Hare

Ransom has been actively involved in the Himalayan Institute’s Humanitarian and Excursion activities in India, Mexico and Cameroon for over seven years. Since 2012, he has been part of the Excursion team leading groups to Allahabad, Khajuraho, and various sacred sites in the Himalayas including Dharamshala, Manali, Har Ki Doon, Gangotri and Tungnath, in India and to Cameroon, West Africa. He has a passion for exploring sacred spaces and learning how they be a catalyst for deep transformation.

Ransom has been developing his yoga practice and studying with the Himalayan Institute since 2008. He completed his 500 hour teacher training certification in 2018 and currently serves as a faculty member contributing to the Himalayan Institute. He is also a certified Wilderness First Responder.

Registration

Registration

Registration Information:
  • Dates: June 15–20, 2020
  • Deposit: $850
Early Registration
  • $2,295
  • Closes February 5, 2020
Regular Registration
  • $2,495
  • Closes March 25, 2020

For more information or to make a balance payment:
Use the balance payment authorization form found here or:
Call: (800) 822-4547 x6
Email: excursions@himalayaninstitute.org

Two Ways to Register:
Online

Register online by completing the registration form below and make your payment (deposit or full) in order to save your space.

Register Online
By Mail

Download the Tour Participant Agreement (“TPA”). Print, read, complete, sign. Mail your signed TPA with deposit or full payment.

Download TPA

If mailing an application, send to:
Himalayan Institute Spiritual Excursions
Attn: Alat Shanti Tigunait
952 Bethany Turnpike
Honesdale, PA 18431 USA

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the nature of this excursion?

A: This is a community-oriented yoga and backpacking adventure intended to inspire discovery within and without as we apply systematic yoga practices in the extraordinary atmosphere of Yosemite Valley National Park. It is intended for moderate to high fitness levels and will require different degrees of physical preparation depending on the individual.

Q: How difficult are the hikes?

A: The hikes are generally moderate with a few difficult sections. Expect some days with 1,000-1,500 feet of elevation gain, and 1,000-3000 feet of elevation loss. For two days we will be hiking above 9,000 feet, and will experience added difficulty due to the altitude.

Q: How many days are we hiking?

A: We will be hiking all six days.

Q: How long are most of the hikes?

A: The hikes will vary day by day. Two days we are hiking between 7-8 miles, but the 2 mile ascent and descent of Mount Hoffman might be the most challenging day.

Q: What are the hiking trails like?

A: The hiking trails are a mix of packed dirt and rock.

Q: What will the weather be like? Should we expect rain?

A: The weather can range from low 80’s during the day to low 40’s at night. Rain becomes less and less likely in Yosemite in June, but it’s always advised to travel with a rain jacket or good poncho.

Q: What is the highest altitude on the trek?

A: The summit of Mount Hoffman is 10,856 feet.

Q: When should we arrive and depart? Where does the excursion begin and end?

A: Plan to arrive at Half-Dome parking lot in Curry Village by 11am on June 15, and end the trip at Curry Village by approximately noon on June 20th.

Q: How do I reach Yosemite National Park’s Curry Village (previously known as Half Dome Village)?

A: Travelers that fly to California can rent a car in San Francisco (4 hours away), Sacramento (3 hours away), Fresno Yosemite (2 hours away). The public roads are maintained year-round—except for the eastern entrance on Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park). Directions are easily available to navigate to curry village by car(Half Dome Village Parking, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389). Additionally, there is a bus service providing public transport to Yosemite. See www.YARTS.com

Q: How can I prepare for this hiking excursion?

A: Physical fitness and overall good health are important elements for an excursion like this. If you haven’t already, we suggest that you begin a regular practice for conditioning your body. Aerobic exercise is especially helpful to prepare for these hikes. One method is fast-walking, building up to a steady pace on inclines, hilly terrain, or stairs, and increasing distance. We highly recommend walking regularly with your day pack (filled) and pushing yourself on some longer hikes whenever possible. Also, the yogic breathing technique (pranayama) of nadi shodhanam (alternate nostril breathing) and 61 point relaxation will help cultivate internal awareness and turn your mind away from external distractions, while the practice of agni sara will support vitality and reduce stress as it activates the parasympathetic nervous system. These practices are best done regularly, starting with a few repetitions and progressing gradually according to your capacity. If you don’t know these techniques, we recommend that you take a pranayama or hatha yoga class with a qualified instructor. The Himalayan Institute’s Wisdom Library provides instructional articles and videos on these techniques, including contraindications, as do the books Path of Fire and Light, Vol. 1, by Swami Rama, and Science of Breath, by Swami Rama, Rudolph Ballentine, MD, and Alan Hymes, MD. These can be ordered through the Himalayan Institute Press at 800-822-4547, press 4, or online.

Q: Where will we be staying?

A: We will be camping in alpine tents all five nights during this excursion.

Q: What type of meals can I expect?

A: Thoughtfully prepared and delicious vegetarian meals will be provided in the back country. In the front country in Curry Village you’ll find a variety of options available for purchase including hand-tossed pizzas, fresh salads, traditional home-style cooking from Mother Curry’s Kitchen, grilled foods including sandwiches, burgers, vegetarian options, and more.

Q: What meals are included?

A: All meals in the back country are included beginning with dinner on day 1 and ending with lunch on day 5. We recommend bringing a packed lunch/snacks with you on the first day of the excursion to enjoy along the way to May Lake, our first campsite. By the evening of day 5 we will return to the front country – dinner on this night and breakfast the next morning are not included in the excursion rate.

Q: Will I be able to do laundry?

A: No, there will not be any laundry opportunities in the back country.

Q: What is the expected group size?

A: Our group size will be capped at 12 participants.

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: For this excursion it is important to be properly equipped with appropriate outdoor gear. See packing list below.

The following items are essential:

  • Comfortable, waterproof hiking shoes/boots
  • 1–2 active wear T-shirts
  • 1–2 long sleeve trekking/activewear shirts
  • Lightweight base layer
  • 1 down jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • 2–3 trekking pants
  • Warm hat
  • Hiking socks
  • Lightweight travel or pack towel
  • Two 1 – liter or one 2 – liter water bottle or hydration bladder*
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Personal toiletries, including soap and shampoo
  • Wet Wipes or other hand sanitizer
  • Prescription medicine, if required

Other essential items (personal or complimentary rental):

  • 50–70 liter backpacking pack
  • Trekking poles
  • Tent
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Eating utensils

Other things to consider:

  • Vest (down or fleece)
  • Slip-on shoes and/or rubber sandals
  • Rain poncho
  • Extra Zip Lock or plastic bags
  • Midweight fleece
  • Camera and accessories
  • Power bank (portable charging device)
  • Pocket knife
  • Toilet paper and/or pocket tissues
  • Laundry soap (for hand laundry)
  • Earplugs
  • Electrolyte drink mix
  • Snack bars, trail snacks

Q: Will we have access to a phone or internet?

A: Cell reception will be limited throughout our trip.

Q: How do I register for this trip?

A: Register online or download and mail the Tour Participant Agreement with your deposit or full payment.

Q: How do I pay my balance? Is my balance automatically charged?

A: To pay by the early registration deadline, mail a check, call us, or fill in the balance payment authorization form by February 5, 2020. To pay by the regular rate deadline, mail a check, call us or fill in the balance payment authorization from by March 25, 2020. On March 25, we will automatically charge your credit card on file for your balance due unless we’ve been instructed otherwise. If we are unable to process your balance payment, you will have 48 hours to provide an alternative form of payment before your registration is cancelled and your deposit is forfeited.

Q: What if I need to cancel?

A: Requests for cancellation must be made in writing to the Tour Organizer. See the Tour Participant Agreement for complete terms and conditions and applicable cancellation charges. As a nonprofit, we are unable to offer exceptions to our cancellation policy — we therefore highly encourage participants to purchase trip cancellation insurance in the event you need to cancel your reservation for any reason.