March 3, 2012

A Love Affair with Yoga and Corona Arch. {Photos}

Courtney going big under the arch

I have a love affair going with the Corona Arch.

It’s 10 miles outside of Moab, Utah. Moab is famous for it’s rock scenery with the Arches National Park just north of town, and the vast Canyonlands to the south. I’ve photographed around Moab twice now. I could go back 50 more times and find fresh and wonderful places every time.

But this arch is special to me. It’s not in the Arches National Park, an amazing place that the Park Service says has over 2000 arches. It’s off by itself, 10 miles west on the Potash road, hidden up a canyon but only a short 45 minute hike from the parking lot.

I found the arch in May of 2010. I had just finished eight weeks of Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training. It’s an intense time and I formed a strong bond with the other trainees. Erik had the idea to celebrate with a trip to Moab, and his energy made it happen. It was a wonderful trip, friends around the campfire, dawn practice overlooking the Cayonlands, laughter and celebration.

On Saturday we went looking for a hike. I had printed out a selection from some web page and on a whim we picked the Corona Arch trail, knowing nothing about it. It’s a nice hike across gravel and slickrock up into a canyon. You really don’t know what is waiting for you until you hike up to the mouth of the canyon and pass around a buttress. Then, oh my God!

First view of Corona Arch

We were not expecting anything this magnificent. It’s as dramatic and grand as anything in the Arches park, and you can just stroll up to it. One part of its attraction is the really cool slickrock traverse that you spend 10 minutes on to get to the stone. People come and go—depending on the day of the week and time of year, you can have it to yourself, or have 40 others sharing it.


Erik celebrating finishing Teacher Training




We were all really into our yoga at this point. We’d had eight weeks of 25 hours a week training, practicing and studying. So, naturally, everyone started busting out poses all over the place. And man, were people strong! I had my good camera with me, and I think I took over 400 images that day.

It took a while to find the perfect angle and to realize that Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel pose) was the pose to celebrate this place. But once we got that, we went wild. You can see a whole set in this album.

Open hearts under Corona Arch


But the singular and signature image of that day is this one. It’s so special to me not just because the aesthetics of the image, but for what it represents about my path in yoga – the connections and life step of teacher training, the blessing of being there at that moment and that my eye and skills had developed to being able to capture it.

I’ve been back once more, and will go again, but that’s another story.



And I’m not the only one in love with it. Check out the other fun you can have:


Editor: Kate Bartolotta.

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