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.