The first weekend of October, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) joined up with Lighten Up Yoga, for a wonderful Sunday afternoon of hiking and chaturangas on beautiful Hemphill Bald, in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
Folks came out for a gorgeous day that warmed up nicely. The group was led up the mountain by SAHC’s Allison Kiehl. Once up top, everyone practiced poses under the tutelage of Lighten up Yoga’s instructor, Kim Drye, for an opportunity to get out of the studio and practice outside besides an incredible collage of fall colors.
Hemphill Bald was an exceptionally special spot to practice yoga not only because of the unrivaled views and grassy balds but also as a means of celebrating such a remarkable conservation easement in western North Carolina. Hemphill bald is one of the seven other conservation easements at Cataloochee Ranch, in Maggie Valley, NC.
Cataloochee Ranch was founded in 1933 and epitomizes how an ecologically responsible farm/ranch should operate. With six easements totaling over 300 acres of gorgeous land, SAHC is proud to work with Cataloochee Ranch to protect western North Carolina’s mountains. There are a slew of other pieces of land that SAHC has protected that would offer an incredible environment to practice yoga.
“Yoga on the Mountain” has grown immensely popular since its inception last summer and SAHC hopes to continue the tradition this spring. There are an abundance of idyllic locations to choose from which offers participants an incredible experience no matter the spot. These hikes are great opportunities for members and non-members alike to enjoy some of the most beautiful protected areas in North Carolina and Tennessee.
With so many spectacular protected pieces of land to choose from, SAHC will continue to offer “yoga on the mountain” at different locations throughout the year. SAHC’s Land Protection Director and avid yoga fan, Michelle Pugliese says, “‘Yoga on the mountain’ is a great opportunity for folks to visit a property that is typically restricted from public use and then take a yoga class essentially for free (entirely free for members).”
Thanks to all of those who came out to Hemphill Bald and be on the lookout for another “yoga on the mountain” this spring.