Arielle Shipe — Voices from the GoPro Mountain Games, Episode 4

Voices from the GoPro Mountain Games: Episode 4 

Arielle Shipe

Arielle Shipe is someone who shares her health and adventure story for the service of others. She understands that we all have a lifelong relationship with our bodies, and that relationship is changing all the time. This year at the Mountain Games, she taught yoga surrounded by nature, helping participants center themselves and prime their bodies for a day of adventure and community.

Arielle and Gabaccia Moreno met up to talk about Arielle’s health journey, her philosophy for reframing your relationship with health, her favorite yoga styles, rescheduling her thru hike, and more.

About the series:

Travel with She Explores for a weekend of adventure, art, music, and community at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado. Through conversations with four women outdoorists and through the ears of first-time Mountain Games attendee Gabaccia Moreno, listeners have the opportunity to experience the games from afar and contemplate adventure in their own lives. 

This special She Explores miniseries is made in collaboration with the Vail Valley Foundation with support from LifeStraw.

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Featured in this episode: Arielle Shipe

Hosted by Gale Straub & Gabaccia Moreno

A Production of Ravel Media

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All Four Episodes of Voices from the GoPro Mountain Games Are Available Now Wherever You Listen to She Explores

Music licensed through MusicBed

Podcast Art by Hailey Hirst


Featured in this episode:

Arielle Shipe

Gabaccia Moreno met up with Arielle at the Mountain Games for this special episode!

Photo by Pat Brady


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TRANSCRIPT

Note: This transcript was lightly edited and created using a transcription service. As such it may contain spelling errors.

Gale Straub – Narration:

This special 4-part series is made possible by LifeStraw. LifeStraw makes water safe to drink through their intentionally designed products for outdoor adventures, travel, and home. With every filter and purifier they sell, a child in need receives safe water for an entire school year. GoPro Mountain Games is proud to partner with LifeStraw to help make a weekend of adventure and community possible. Learn more at Lifestraw.com.

Arielle Shipe – Teaching Yoga:

As you inhale, slide your hands up your shins. So the back of the neck is long exhale all the way up overhead

Arielle Shipe – Teaching Yoga:

As you exhale, bring your hands to your heart.

Arielle Shipe:

And I hope that through actually taking these challenges and facing them head on and really learning about how this human vessel thing that we’re riding around and how it works and how we can make choices to affect it. That may be my journey can help other people not have to have so many struggles in theirs or have, have those aha moments a little bit sooner.

Arielle Shipe – Teaching Yoga:

Good inhale, press down, reach up, Exhale, pull forward.

Gale Straub – Narration:

You’re listening to Voices from the GoPro Mountain Games, a She Explores podcast miniseries made in collaboration with the Vail Valley Foundation with support from LifeStraw. I’m Gale Straub and this episode features Arielle Shipe in conversation with Gabaccia Moreno at the Mountain Games.

We spend time outside for the sake of our physical and our mental health, and our guest for this last episode in the miniseries is someone who is gifted at speaking to the mind-body connection we nurture doing what we love outside. Arielle Shipe is a coach, yoga teacher, and hopeful Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker with a focus on health and adventure. I caught up with Gabaccia right after their conversation and was moved by how she described Arielle:

Gabaccia:

Ariel is very honest, and she has a very graceful way of putting her story to the service of others, obviously, as a very experienced yoga in structure. I think she’s been teaching for 10 years. I mean, I took her class yesterday and I haven’t taken a good yoga class in a very long time. And I didn’t know it until I was in that class. And that was a 90 minute class that I could have done for probably another 90 minutes, just because of how well balanced it was. Wow. Yes. And this morning, my whole body felt it very, very balanced in, you know, how like the little soreness and whatnot, it was very balanced. So it wasn’t like, oh, my legs got an extra workout or this part of my body got an extra workout. So I think, and she talked about this during our interview.

Gabaccia:

How, because because of the type of event, it allows her to prepare more for the, and to go deeper into how this class is going to play out. So I feel like she, she did a really good job of empathizing with the needs of the diversity of people that were going to be present for that class and what they might need in their bodies to craft the class. And then throughout the class, she was also queuing folks to like, you know, if you’re going to do rock climbing later, you might want to skip this. Or, you know, if you’re going to do cycling later, you might want to adjust this way. So she was just very, she’s very mindful, very aware. And she brings in her own personal experience to help her students become more conscious, which I really appreciated that from her.

Gale Straub – Narration:

This mind/body connection was nurtured at the Mountain Games, too — whether through outdoor yoga classes, supportive competition, the familial atmosphere, and a whole lot of nourishing food. Arielle and Gabaccia sat down on the last day of the weekend to talk about Arielle’s health journey, yoga practice, advice for others who are hoping to reframe their relationship with health, and more.

Arielle Shipe:

I used to be a competitive snowboarder. I found my way into rock climbing and yoga was a thread that well through all of that, um, started practicing when I was 17. So I feel really lucky to have that anchor. And now I like really into mountain biking and obviously hiking some of the through hiking adventures and pretty much anything like outdoor adventure oriented I’m game to try

Gabaccia:

Good. I’m the same. How does it feel to be surrounded by people who share your love for Eldorado ventures?

Arielle Shipe:

Oh my gosh. It’s the fricking best. So fun. I just feel like, you know, if you, if you didn’t attend the GoPro games this year, it is such a just fun, high energy event. All the dogs running around like crazy being so stoked and excited, but then everyone is there because they love being outside and they love what they’re doing. And you can feel it like you can feel when you’re walking around that there’s just this stoke factor. It’s good vibes. Definitely.

Gabaccia:

No, I I’ve definitely felt that. What brings you to the GoPro mountain games this year?

Arielle Shipe:

So this year I have the great privilege of being one of the teachers for the yoga. I’ve been hard of the GoPro mountain games community for a few years. I came two ago as like a guest and then this year was my first year, like being able to teach and be with the whole official program, which felt so good. So fun.

Gabaccia:

What do you find most fulfilling about being an instructor in a big event? Like the mountain games?

Arielle Shipe:

Well, I think that something on my side selfishly, that’s really fun is that we get to go a little bit deeper with the classes. I think people are, you know, really a little bit more open for the whole experience. So we could take a longer Shavasana. We can spend a little bit more time, like setting up what we’re going to be working on. So I feel like we can maybe dive a little bit deeper than if we only had, you know, one hour at a studio and the energy that comes along with having a group class of the bigger size is just so, so, so fun. And I feel like no matter who you are, where you are in this space, you can ride and feel the energy of the collective group, you know, adds that extra element. I

Gabaccia:

Know it was really, it was really nice yesterday during your class to a B in-person in a yoga class. And then also like outside with the grass and the birds and you know, the water running, it was pretty magical. What word would you use to describe the energy of the weekend?

Arielle Shipe:

Oh, that’s a good question. I feel like, like, people are feeling really free. Like they’re breaking free. I feel like there’s this like taking off of these layers? How do I put this in one word, breaking free, breaking free. Okay. Smash them together. That’s what I feel though. I, I do feel, I feel like people, like, you know, taking off all the layers and like coming back to themselves, coming back to life.

Gabaccia:

I like that, did you bring your pup with you?

Arielle Shipe:

Not this year, but she came with me two years ago and loved it. It is like one of the best events to bring your dog super dog friendly. There’s a water bowls everywhere. There’s other dogs everywhere for your dog to play with. And there’s just like so much going on. So, um, this year it was just a logistical thing because of course that we were doing before we came here, otherwise we wouldn’t 100% have brought her because it is the most dog friendly event that I’ve ever been to.

Gabaccia:

I agree I, it almost feels like it’s all about the dogs, you know, like if you, if you’re in the dog area yeah. In lion’s head, it just feels like this isn’t a dog event as it should be. Right. Like it’s so fun. Would you ever sign up to any of those competitions with your dog?

Arielle Shipe:

So the first year I did the 5k with my dog, which was super fun and I’m not much of a runner, so I mean, I’m out, I’m outdoorsy and you know, enough that like, you know, we managed, but I was definitely pretty tired. She was fine. She was ready for another lap.

Gabaccia:

I’m going to shift topic a little bit because you have a very strong story of how you started focusing on your wellness. So can you talk a little bit about that?

Arielle Shipe:

Yeah. I mean, unfortunately I’ve had to deal with a lot of really random health stuff over the years, but if I really think back, especially now, I’m currently getting a master’s in holistic nutrition. And the more that I learn just about holistic wellbeing in general, from the yoga background and from this, all of the puzzle pieces of the choices I made in my younger years, I used to struggle a lot with disordered eating and went through some really, really unhealthy phases of that relationship with food and my own body and how I treated it. And whether you take it to that extreme or not, I’d say it’s pretty common. Uh, at least in the Western world, women are pretty undernourished, chronically, chronically undernourished, and that has long-term repercussions on our health. And so I’ve been doing quite a bit of research in things that I’ve struggled with.

Arielle Shipe:

So I got diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and then also interstitial cystitis, which I wish on no one so uncomfortable, but the research that I’ve done, especially on the Hashimoto’s on the thyroid side of thing, there seems to be a lot of linkage between vitamin and mineral deficiency and ending up with these thyroid issues down the road. So obviously we can never know exactly, you know, like we’re, we’re human, we’re not a control experiment. Like there’s so many factors of when we’re living our lives that can contribute to us, you know, developing these sorts of things. But looking back on the choices that I made when I was younger and the pressure that I felt to look and be a certain way, I’m not surprised that it brought me to a place where I had struggles with my health. And it’s not been easy as someone who likes to adventure and go hard to really be forced to slow down.

Arielle Shipe:

But at the same time, I’ve been really grateful for the opportunity to learn. And I hope that through actually taking these challenges and facing them head on and really learning about how this human vessel thing that we’re riding around and how it works and how we can make choices to affect it, that may be my journey can help other people not have to have so many struggles in there as, or have, have those aha moments a little bit sooner. So again, even though I would wish what I’ve been through health wise on no one, it has set me on the path to learning about something that I’m now super passionate about, like holistic wellness. And hopefully given me the opportunity to down the road, help other people in their journey as well. And again, like maybe they don’t have to have so many years of feeling so unwell before they can have their answers or solutions.

Gabaccia:

That’s really cool. At what point did you decide to deepen your yoga practice and start teaching too?

Arielle Shipe:

Um, I laugh. I get, so I got to my undergrad degrees in finance and economics, very practical [inaudible] and then I graduated and it was like, I don’t want you to do so. I did it too. Teacher training. I had been practicing yoga for about five years at that point. Cause I did start, um, at a younger age and I in the beginning, never thought I was going to teach yoga full-time because, I mean, I don’t know if any of you listening are in the wellness space, but like it’s a hustle, it’s a hustle.

Gabaccia:

It’s a very small percentage in the industry that, you know, kind of have a good quality of life teaching you. Yeah. Full time. Yeah. I mean, it’s,

Arielle Shipe:

You know, depending on where you are, the pay rates are very, it’s just, it’s definitely hard to live off and you have to, you see, you have to be showing up a lot when you’re not teaching. You’re not getting paid. There’s no PTO, there’s none of these things. So anyways, I never thought it was going to be a full-time thing, but I was obsessed with learning and I’ve, I think that that’s my nature, obsessed with learning something interests me and I dive all the way in to the deep end. So I actually did like 1500 hours of yoga trainings within like four years, five years, which is a lot, especially for such a short period of time. But the more I learned, the more I wanted to share and the more I wanted to be able to just support and impact other people’s lives and give people the opportunity to feel the freedom and the breakthroughs that I was getting from this practice.

Arielle Shipe:

So I did actually teach yoga full-time for three or four years, which in the beginning meant I was teaching somewhere between 15 and 15 and 20 yoga classes a week. Wow. But eventually, you know, I, I, um, was able to teach, get some private clients and kind of expand in that way and was able to be a little bit more balanced and then somewhere down the road, this whole Instagram thing happened. Um, and so now I still, I still teach, but it looks different than it did in those, in those times, but that’s kind of the, the journey that it took to get there.

Gabaccia:

Nice. Is there a particular style of yoga that you like the most?

Arielle Shipe:

I feel like it depends on what I need in the moment because I like, I like most styles of yoga for different reasons. And I think that that’s something that often gets forgotten. Like people go to one yoga class and that’s what they now envision all yoga to be is just whatever that one class was. But there’s so many different ways to practice yoga. You know, you can go and do that hot sweaty power Vinyasa class and get that workout or, you know, whatever it is. But you can also like go to yin where you do five poses, all class and you just melt in and it’s, it’s challenging in its own way. Uh, and then there’s restorative or, you know, there’s and everything in between. And so I think something that I’ve learned over the years is that we need different things in different days of our life and ultimately, uh, for really getting to it, the point of yoga is to find that that union and that comes from balance.

Arielle Shipe:

If you’re go, go, go full throttle, having full throttle, yoga is probably not the most balancing option for you, at least in that day, you know, maybe on another day. And so that’s going to be the day where I’m like, I’m going to do yen, I’m going to do yoga nidra. So it depends. Yeah. Depends on the day or like this morning when you were like, I’m not going to do yoga. Yeah, yeah. For those of you listening, we were supposed to meet up for more like a power Vinyasa class this morning. And I just woke up and really probably is one of my favorite styles to practice is the more like, you know, more, more often than any other I’m, I’m practicing more like a power of Vinyasa. I just think it’s so fun, especially with the great play, great music and everything, and you should really get into it. But I had to really honor myself morning because, you know, with teaching and some of the other things that I’ve had to do, work-wise, it’s just been a really full week. And I woke up this morning with like nothing left in my cup and was like, I don’t have anything to pour into this practice. So I’m going to roll around on my mat in my hotel room instead. Nice.

Gabaccia:

No, that’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing

Arielle Shipe:

That when it comes to yoga, if you’re, if you’re curious about the practice and it’s not something that you’ve explored before, just now that there really is something for everyone. And if the first thing you try, doesn’t resonate with you. There are lots of other things to try. And a lot of it is just going to be about finding a teacher that really speaks to you and speaks to what, you know, what you resonate with in the moment. And, you know, just because something’s right for someone doesn’t mean it’s right for someone else. Uh, and I think that that can be really hard in all aspects of our life to remember that just because something’s working so well for your friend or someone that you love, it doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. Being able to have that discernment about what’s going to serve you and, and your journey so that you can show up as like the brightest, most radiant, full version of yourself for whatever you’re doing that day.

Gabaccia:

Do you have any advice for folks who are reframing their relationship to their health?

Arielle Shipe:

Yeah, it is like anything, like if you’ve ever been in any sort of long-term relationship, even with just a friend, it doesn’t even have to be a romantic partner. It takes work. You know what I mean? It’s not, it, it’s not just something generally that’s completely smooth sailing all the time. I wish it was. I wish all of us could just have like the most smooth sailing health journey of all, but the reality is, is the lives. And the pace of the lives in modern world is really fast. And I think that taking care of ourselves and taking time to slow down and nourish ourselves is becoming more and more and more important than ever before. So I think my best advice would just to be, be compassionate with yourself and be kind with yourself in the process. And it’s totally okay if you don’t have it all figured out and this sucks, but I think it’s worth saying just because something worked for you before doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you going forward. So you have to really allow yourself to be fluid with the process and like constantly evolving and asking questions and checking in with yourself as you know, is all these habits and choices that I’m making still serving my health at this point in time, you know, beautiful. So you’ve had

Gabaccia:

So you’ve had to postpone your PCT thru hike twice due to the pandemic and then some health concerns.

Arielle Shipe:

Yeah. I mean, the thing is it’s been something on my heart for a really long time. Like I first learned about the PCT when I was like 20 years old and I’m 30 now. And so I’ve had 10 years to build up this like, love affection with this adventure, you know? And so it has, I think last year was, it was really, it was definitely really tough when they had to make that realization that it wasn’t going to happen. But at the same time, you know, in general, I find that everything really does happen for a reason. And I learned a lot of things. I ended up through hiking, the Tahoe rim trail last year, which is about 180 miles. We did eight and a half days. So we were putting in some pretty good mileage, but I learned a lot on that, about how eating for a through hike is actually pretty different than eating for a regular backpacking trip.

Arielle Shipe:

And, um, just different prep things that I just kind of assumed would be the same as a regular backpacking trip. And so I actually feel significantly more prepared for when I hit the trail. And in the end you would figure it out, out there anyways. You know what I mean? It’s not like you’re, you’re, you’re passing through towns. You can upgrade your gear, you can change things around. But I do feel like there are some pieces that I wouldn’t have known about until I had a chance to do a longer one. So it makes me feel even more excited.

Gabaccia:

Oh, nice. What Advice would you have for anyone who’s had to change the timeline on their adventures?

Arielle Shipe:

Well, there’s a saying in yoga, it’s actually from the yoga sutras, it’s one of my favorite, it’s something that I’ve like contemplated getting tattooed on my body multiple times and maybe will one day, but it’s called [inaudible]. And what it means is it’s a whole hearted dedication to a specific outcome, but without attachment to the outcome, which is, seems like so paradoxical. But I think that this is really the only way that we can live life towards our passions and our genes because there’s half of the equation that’s in our control and that’s how we show up. And that’s the choices that we make. But then there’s the other half of the equation that’s totally out of our control. So allowing ourselves to put in what we can and make the steps that we can, but then also just kind of like step back and acknowledge that life will life in the way that it’s going to.

Arielle Shipe:

And the timing will always work out how it’s supposed to, even if it doesn’t feel that way. I, I feel like most of us could probably think back on something that felt like the wrong timing, but then we look back on the situation and realize that it had to happen that way for us to be who we are today or for us to get where we’re going. It’s easier in hindsight to have that trust. But I think that that’s the, the anchor point with anything in life is trust that it’s all gonna work out with divine.

Gabaccia:

Beautiful. And I’m also connecting that to something you were saying in class yesterday about, you know, being present and finding that presence because yeah, at the end of the day, if you are devoted to something, you can be in the outcome while you’re in the process of getting there. Right?

Arielle Shipe:

Yeah. And if you think of it, like you, you can relate exactly what you said to a, through hike. Like the journey is the thing, you know, it’s like, it’s not the getting to Canada part. Right. You know, it’s not the end result. It’s the whole process of getting there. And so if we get too up in the, in the result and we get, we’re not actually present with the journey, then we kind of miss the point.

Gabaccia:

Totally. Thank you so much.

Arielle Shipe:

Yeah. Thank you so much. It’s such a pleasure.

Gale Straub – Narration:

This was the last episode of our four part series, Voices from the Go Pro Mountain Games.  All four episodes are available in our feed now.

Big thank you to Arielle Shipe for taking time out of the Mountain Games to chat with Gabaccia. Follow along with Arielle on Instagram @ArielleShipe.

Special thanks to our sponsors for making this 4-part series possible.

Nature Valley is a proud partner of the outdoors. From creating the first granola bar, meant to be eaten outside, to committing to make all their packaging fully recyclable by 2025, and to their sponsorship of Vail Valley Foundation, Nature Valley provides delicious fuel for our time in the outdoors. Learn more at NatureValley.com

There’s no wrong way to get Outside – take it from Go RVing. Their platform amplifies the voices of adventure campers, leisure campers, foodies, tailgaters, outdoor enthusiasts, families, digital nomads and everyone in between. Head to Go RVing dot com to find the right RV for your outdoor lifestyle – it’s time to go on a REAL VACATION.  

The GoPro Mountain Games is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation.

This episode was hosted and produced by me, Gale Straub. In the field interviews and on site recorders done by Gabaccia Moreno. Interview editing by Julie Hotz. Music licensed via Music Bed. Voices from the GoPro Mountain Games is a She Explores mini-series and a production of Ravel Media.

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