Inspiration to start Hiking with Heart has come from years of practicing yoga and meditation and experiencing the positive impact on myself and others.
While hiking with friends at Temescal Canyon, I thought of the idea to combine yoga and meditation with hiking. My vision is to allow others to experience these practices I have been doing for many years and that east and south Asian cultures have been practicing for centuries.
Pepperdine has created an environment where I have been inspired to put forth my ideas and creativity in a unique way. The professors coming from different backgrounds with the ultimate goal to service our community in support of mental health has shown me that it is important to be adaptable and to be open to learning new ways of thinking and being. As a Wave of Service Leader, there has been tremendous support between the service leaders and organizations with intentions to help others.
GSEP influenced me through sharing their experiences and providing insight into the practice of psychotherapy. Bringing mindfulness into everyday life and into the therapy room is becoming and has been an impactful aspect of healing. My goal through Hiking with Heart is to encourage others to experience a connection with themselves, others, and nature. If we go back to our innate ability to use our senses and awareness, we build new neural pathways that help in adaptability and resilience. Dr. Erica Ellis (physiological psychology), inspired me through her weekly meditations before class, and I really felt an impact on my ability in class after we took time to breathe for a moment—before we took in a lot of information. At the same time, I started developing an interest in alternative therapeutic techniques and healing. As Dr. Ellis brought mindfulness into the classroom it made me realize that it can be brought into all aspects of life. Hiking with Heart provides an avenue for internal healing and an opportunity for interconnectedness with others in the Local area.
I enjoy being able to share the experience of hiking, yoga and meditation – two things that I’m personally passionate about—and I like connecting people to each other. It provides opportunities for people to find new friendships over a shared interest and with the backdrop of a beautiful view.
Hiking with Heart is an organization which shares the experience of maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit through yoga, meditation, and hiking. Each group provides a venue for self-expression, inner connectedness, and connection with nature. The group is guided by individuals in the community who are also inspired and looking to inspire others around them.
Hiking with Heart offers two core wellness programs: yoga and hiking, and hiking and meditation.
Providing these experiences for groups and individuals helps to spread this loving-kindness and experiences in nature with the larger community.
When engaging in programs like this as a work group, not only are you lowering stress levels of your employees resulting in healthier well-being, you are fostering collectivity and improving office morale. Yoga, meditation, and hiking can be a useful tool for people working in a high-pressure work environment.
Hiking with Heart is even more than just a yoga, meditation, and hiking organization. We also work together to serve the community. Previous service projects have included using our loving and capable hands to help in the beautification of the Dubnoff Center for Child Development. Future upcoming projects include tree restoration with TreePeople in Coldwater Canyon and fruit picking for the hungry with Food Forward. Hiking with Heart cleans up trails throughout Los Angeles and Ventura Counties in support of “leaving no trail behind.”
Incorporating exercise and meditation into your regular schedule is a great way to improve your mental health.