There is a special pull to directional energies—tangible expression that is most obvious at the front and tail end of each day, expressed by the spread of color as the sun rises in the east and falls to rest in the west.
I took a class called “The Four Directions” at Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass earlier this month. It was a session taught by Elena Brower, focusing on yoga, meditation, and ritual. She spoke to the directional energies and their distinguishing characteristics: the colors, earth elements, and animals associated with north, south, east, and west.
I was fascinated by the details of all the directions, but I paid close attention to the qualities of the North, as I was inspired to look deeper into the message of Wanderlust: “Find Your True North.”
The North is associate with the color white, the season of winter, and the elements of wind and air. These are far calls from the experience of a lush summer day at Wanderlust, although the themes of wisdom, and the presence of the North’s animal muse, the bear, definitely fit the mountainous energy all around.
The direction of the North represents the path toward balance, knowledge, trust, abundance, and wisdom. This is the place from which we all follow our heart; the faith that lives within us.
On the day following Elena Brower’s mesmerizing class, I went on a sunrise hike up the Rim Trail in Snowmass, led by accomplished mountaineer and endurance coach, Ellen Miller.
The morning was crisp and clear, as the early hours of Colorado days so often are, creating a sharpness of intention—a clear sense of direction.
It takes about an hour to reach the ridgeline overlooking Snowmass Village, where views of distant, snow-capped peaks come into focus. There’s a large marble platform you can stand on, distinctly marked with a yin-yang symbol.
The group aligned in a circle on the platform, placing our hands in the middle to touch as a way of honoring the accomplishment of the morning. In that moment, we were in full reverence to the spirit of the North that lives within each of us. It was a moment of clarity, of inspiration.
As we looked out in every direction, I could feel the spirit of True North as a guiding force above all other energies—my own spirit leading the way.
Hiking to high places and stepping on your yoga mat are ways to align the internal compass—come back to an intentional state of discernment and choice, vitality and moment, gratitude and joy. If you choose your steps wisely, and from your True North, your spirit will soar.
Photo by Emily Bergquist
Kim Fuller grew up in the Colorado mountains and has always found beauty and inspiration through nature and movement. She is currently a freelance journalist and yoga teacher based in Vail. Her writing and photo work has focused on health, wellness, recreation, food, and travel since 2007, and Kim began her yoga practice in Boulder, followed by her first teacher training with Real Evolution Yoga at Peace Retreat Costa Rica in November of 2012.