Enjoying malasana at the beach in Ferndale, California. Check out the rest of my #happyhips photos at www.instagram.com/ceeevs
Yogalifer in the Field: Caitlin Varrin
Caitlin here, sharing some love from the road. I'm on my second annual gallivant through California and loving every minute. It's nice to feel home somewhere when you're far away from your own. Last year I spent 3 months traversing this vast state and this year is shaping up to be a similar adventure. What I love most about California is the opportunity here for me to reconnect and ground. After an action-packed summer including 4 music festivals and the Gaiatri 200 hour teacher training, it's been really important for me to let my knowledge land and be still-ish. Although my little travelling family does opt for many hikes and day trips, I have my personal time every day to go inward and get quiet with the trees. Heaven.
My home base is just outside of Eureka in the northern part of the state. I am in the redwood forest; the trees in my backyard are 200-300 years old and I've hugged ones as old as 2400! Sitting under these giants is a truly humbling experience; I revel in their majesty. I've really been enjoying incorporating them in my photos for the Instagram challenge that Yogalife Studios is hosting right now with the lovely Sara Cueva! This place is oh so photogenic and inspiring! We arrived here in the first week of September after having the best time imaginable at Burning Man in Nevada (that's a whole other article of photogenic and inspiring) and just returned 'home' from some California exploration.
One of our day trips included the most westerly point of the USA, a tiny community called Ferndale. California has a few little jut-outs along the coast and Ferndale exists on one. You could say I'm truly west coast right now! I fell in love with this town immediately; we originally went to check out the beach but got distracted by the most charming Victorian homes of all colours and extravagances... also the hyperbole of yard sales that graced their lawns! Literally 32 sales in 4 blocks! If you know me personally you know this is another indicator of heaven. Some of my stellar finds include a $1 copy of Carolyn Myss' 'Anatomy of the Spirit', a wicked $2 denim jacket and a FREE meditation cushion. After our tromp around town we did finally hit the beach with our new treasures in tow. Nothing beats a good read and stretch on the beach!
I've been to California a bunch of times now and each time I like to cover new ground. The next leg of our jaunt took us through Sierra County, back into desert-like heat, beautiful lakes and forests. This was a nice switch-up from Eureka which is almost chilly (hold your YEG comments)! This area was home to the California Gold Rush and you can still find tiny flecks of gold in the Yuba River (we're rich!). This is one of the least-populated places in California and we truly enjoyed the pace they were working with. We spoke with the locals to find the best camping spot and headed through Plumas National Forest to arrive at Goose Lake. We were the only people there. Again, heaven. Camping with a fire-ban means lots of rock-tossing into the lake and really early bedtimes. Extra chill.
There is something so special about experiencing different communities and chatting with the humans that live there. When I first started teaching yoga at a variety of studios, this was one of my favourite things - dipping into communities, seeing how it's done, getting to know people from all over the city... connecting. You can learn a lot by watching, asking a few questions and listening. Best part? You don't even have to leave home to do it.
So after exploring this new-to-us part of California we finally we looped back to the coast to my favourite place ever: San Francisco. I know that my travels will take me to some amazing places in life but for now, 100%, this is my place. We only stayed for one day and went and saw some epic music. We'll be back for more at Halloween as it's only 4 hours south of Eureka and again, THE BEST. The drive up the California coastline is as stunning as you can imagine! We stopped at this place called Area 101, a sort-of spiritual clubhouse-looking place. The main building donned amazing murals and beautiful statues of various deities. There was grassy space with a tipi and a huge statue of Buddha. So beautiful. I've done this drive a few times now and have never stopped here. Now I know to always stop.
My travels are scooping me home for a few weeks and then back to meet up with my family here and chase summer a little longer. I plan to teach a workshop at a festival in Southern California that is dear to my heart and continue getting upside down and backwards in the trees. I have a stack of books to read, an even bigger stack of magazines to collage with, and a bunch of uncharted forest waiting. Not to mention 38772 more treks to San Fran to really get my heart bursting.
I'll see you in the hot room for a few weeks starting September 30th. Sending ALL THE LOVE!