Awe-Inspiring Appalachian Trail Mountain Yoga Hiking Tour

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I'm Miranda. Welcome to Namaste in Nature where we craft custom yoga + hiking experiences near Asheville, NC and create fresh content about nature, yoga, meditation & mindfulness every Friday.

The Abyss of Infinite Possibilities: Waking up to find life off the beaten path

The Abyss of Infinite Possibilities: Waking up to find life off the beaten path

I serendipitously met Lindsay Michel when we were paired up during a yoga class taught by Chelsey Korus at the Asheville Yoga Festival in July 2017.

Basically, we had to maintain uncomfortably long eye contact and take turns sharing our life story and my jaw dropped & eyes widened as I realized how much our past, present and futures aligned.

We had both just ended unhealthy relationships, both recently finished yoga teacher training, both recently quit lucrative jobs at Fortune 500 companies, both traveled extensively abroad and both wanted to create and share experiences that combine yoga and nature.

Lindsay has cycled across the United States twice, run 14 half marathons, summited mountains in four continents and is a graduate of both NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership Series) and Outward Bound. I am so happy to see that a year later, her passion project Taproot Retreats is officially up and running. Read more of her inspirational story below!

Namaste & Have A Great Day!


The Abyss of Infinite Possibilities: Waking up to find life off the beaten path

By Lindsay Michel • RYT200 Yoga Teacher, Founder of Taproot Retreats • Durham, NC

We’re born into this world with the courage of a great explorer. The curiosity of a most brilliant scientist. Each day, we try something completely new. Inevitably, we fall down. And then the magic happens: We take a great leap of faith. We get up, we learn, and we try again. 

Yet somewhere along the path of growing up, most of us become scared – and often ashamed – of what before energized us: the everyday adventure of experiencing life, of trudging through the unknown with wide open hearts and eyes. 

Society introduces fear. Our culture asks us to assimilate. And so, we do our best to fit in. We  begin to control the variables – or at least we cling to the perception that we can control the variables. 

We stick to what we know – places, relationships, jobs, behavior patterns – even if they stopped serving our highest good long ago. 

Daily adventures become daily doldrums. Nine-to-fives and to-do lists, precise morning routines and routes to work or school. We blink, and it’s as if we’ve missed a whole day: 24 hours of potent life gone.


Savasana Dissolves

I remember waking up from that zombie-like existence in 2016. It was the last yoga practice of a weeklong retreat in Mexico. As I blinked my eyes open after savasana, the beautiful thatched roof came into focus. Its conical shape pulled me upward … “Leap,” I told myself, “…into the abyss of infinite possibilities.”

A flood of memories rushed in: skipping stones outside of my childhood home, backpacking up Table Rock with my NC Outward Bound group at 15, bushwhacking through the Yukon Territory with NOLS, hiking in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado, where my dad grew up.

Wildness and adventure are in my blood. I come from a line of pioneers, frontiersmen and Jewish immigrants. People who bravely forged their own path and made their own lives. How had mine become so ordinary? 

I had already begun making major changes in my life, including ending an unhealthy relationship and beginning yoga teacher training. Important steps toward deepening my relationship with myself and living a more mindful, authentic life. 

In that moment on my mat, the next step was clear: it was time for me to let everything else “safe” go. I put in my notice, leaving my coveted job at a Fortune 500 healthcare company, and pushed the pause button on a decade-long PR career.

For what exactly? To live. Unbridled. Fully. Whole-heartedly. The details no longer mattered. I decided to trust that the Universe really does has my back.

The Practice of Surrender

The following year was full of ups and downs. A lot of tears and a lot of great adventures. Surrender is challenging practice. But it’s also exhilarating. Doors open that you never knew existed.

I tried new things again. I started teaching yoga full time. I traveled. I got to know my family again.

I spent three days a week caring for my maternal grandmother, who moved from Denver to my mom’s rural North Carolina home. I called my parents, and I started conversations I had long avoided. 

I spent many days alone. I meditated when I woke up and before I went to bed. I meditated when I felt anxious or like pouring a few drinks. I meditated a lot.

I made a vision board of a life I wanted to experience, and then I lived it. Because I finally had made the space for all I loved and wanted.


Outward Bound

Since I was little, I knew my happy place was outside, and I wanted to share my love of Mother Nature with others. But as I grew older, I treated my time outdoors as breaks from “real life.” Weekend excursions or summer vacations. It was time to make the outdoors real life. 

Timing and finances magically aligned, and I was able to complete the Instructor Development Course with the Northwest Outward Bound School last fall. 

Fifty days of sea kayaking in Washington’s San Juan Islands, backpacking and rock climbing in the Cascade Mountains, and completing Wilderness First Responder Training coursework alongside forest rangers, smokejumpers and other outdoor enthusiasts. 

Going into the experience, I knew it would be a step toward creating a job that combined my love of outdoor adventure with yoga and meditation. Heading West, I thought I would end up moving to Washington, Oregon or Colorado to set up shop in a mountain town. But, as I sat under my makeshift shelter during the infamous Outward Bound solo – three days alone on the top of a mountain with a bag full of GORP, water, a tarp, and my journal – I realized that I was being called back to North Carolina. 

The South was evolving – healing. I needed to support that transformation and give back to my community. 


Rooting into New Growth

This fall marks the inaugural season for Taproot Retreats, a business that blends yoga, meditation and outdoor excursions to deliver experiences that rejuvenate and inspire. Through Taproot, I offer half-day retreats that include yoga, kayaking, meditation and yoga. 

I created Taproot Retreats to support our collective journey. As builders, creatives, entrepreneurs, teachers, wanderers and leaders; as people striving to make the most of life. Taproot was also built to connect you: to local protected lands; to a community of passionate, adventurous, and deeply driven people; and to your truest self.

Whether it’s an afternoon hike and meditation, or a full day of kayaking, intention setting and solo journaling, whether you come alone or with your team, our excursions are designed to help you connect to what matters most: your true nature, your greatest potential.

I hope Taproot Retreats become a regular self-care ritual for those living in the Triangle, as well as a way to infuse adventure and positivity into events like reunions, team-building excursions and celebrations.

My journey of surrender and adventure has taught me the preciousness of life. Each moment is an opportunity to do what lights you up. Because when you light up, the whole world lights up, and the darkness gives way to a much brighter future.  

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