Give the pumpkin spice lattes a break and explore soul-soothing meditation or travel this fall. Here are a few activities to help embrace the crisp autumn air.
Find your inner Zen and practice peace at these local meditation centers:
The Lotus Garden Meditation Center
The Lotus Garden Meditation Center offers free weekly group meditation classes followed by a free vegetarian dinner. Peaceful chanting and music are a part of the group meditation, along with a self-realization class. This studio is an oasis that spans more than two acres. Have a seat near the koi pond or the waterfall surrounded by a bamboo garden.
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Group meditations are offered from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Sundays at 7225 Lincoln Ave., Carmichael.
Valley Streams Zen Sangha
Valley Streams Zen Sangha recommends newcomers visit at 6 p.m. the second Monday of the month when they offer an introductory course to meditation and Zen practice forms. There is a suggested donation of $5 to $10 for meetings and $5 to $20 for dharma talks. In addition to meditation sessions, Valley Streams Zen Sangha offers sitting and walking meditation retreats, public talks by various Zen teachers and special topic classes. No experience in Zen or mediation is required and walk-ins are encouraged.
Meetings are from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Mondays at The Yoga Solution, 5290 Elvas Ave., Sacramento.
Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group
Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group is a peer-led practice and welcomes those seeking to live with wisdom and kindness. Two silent sitting meditation sessions are offered from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. and from 8:30 to 9 a.m Wednesdays. On Sunday nights, the SBMG community invites a guest speaker for a dharma talk and questions. Registration is only required for meditation retreats. All services are free; however, dharma baskets are available for donations.
Wednesday meditation is at River Song Meditation, Room 14, upstairs at the Sierra 2 Center for the Arts and Community, 2791 24th St., Sacramento. Sunday talks start at 7 p.m. at 3600 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento.
Those intimidated by the yoga scene are warmly welcomed at Asha Yoga, where they understand how beginners might feel. Asha Yoga – 2421 27th St., Sacramento – encourages people to push through nervousness and visit a drop-in class for $16. Newcomers can purchase an unlimited month pass for $30. A 10 percent discount is offered for students and seniors.
The Yoga Seed Collective
The Yoga Seed Collective is a nonprofit studio creating space for stress reduction, healing and comfort. Classes range from slower yoga styles to those more intermediate and advanced. Yoga Seed provides Queer Community Yoga, specifically providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ community, but it’s also open to all. Classes are $15. New students must complete a form. This collective also offers a sliding fee program to make classes affordable for everyone.
View the class schedule at www.theyogaseed.org/class-schedule. Visit The Yoga Seed Collective at 1400 E St., Suite B, Sacramento.
Sacramento Yoga Center
Sacramento Yoga Center provides smaller and more personalized classes at the Sierra 2 Center for the Arts and Community. Daily classes are available and drop-in classes range from $9 to $15. Sacramento Yoga has an introductory offer of 20 days for $10.
Visit the center in Room 6 at 2791 24th St., Sacramento.
View the schedule at http://sacramentoyogacenter.com/sacyog/schedule/schedule.html.
Sacramento Northern Bikeway
The Sacramento Northern Bikeway is about a 10-mile trail that connects the downtown Sacramento area to Del Paso Heights and Rio Linda. The bikeway also crosses the American River over a converted train bridge. For those not as adventurous, this trail is straight and level, making it great for beginners.
Check out parking and trail directions at www.traillink.com/trail/sacramento-northern-bikeway.aspx.
Rockville Hills Regional Park
Take a trip to Fairfield and visit Rockville Hills Regional Park. The park offers trails for mountain biking as well as easier paths for pedestrians. The park spans six miles and has more than 20 different trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Visitors are advised to carry their entry passes at all times.
Costs are $3 per person and $1 per dog.
View driving directions at www.fairfield.ca.gov/gov/depts/pw/open_space/rockville_hills_regional_park/geninfo/default.asp.
El Dorado Trail
The El Dorado Trail runs 28 miles from Placerville to Camino. There are Class 1 bike paths and natural trails for pedestrians. Twenty-three miles of the trail weave through foothills and also are open for horseback riding. Parking is free and driving directions are available at http://eldoradotrail.com/trail-map.
For a tame camping experience, try Coloma Resort, where cabin, RV and tent campsites all are available. At 6921 Mount Murphy Road, Coloma, the resort is about an hour’s drive east of Sacramento. After the second week of September, the resort turns into a school with children camping Monday through Friday. Weekend reservations are available starting at 3 p.m. Fridays.
Tent and RV sites start at $49 and can be viewed at http://colomaresort.com/accommodations/rates-policies.html. Reservations can be made at www.sunrisereservations.com/reservation/landingPageHandler?cgId=&campgroundName=coloma or by calling 800-238-2298.
Pinecone Strip at Sly Park Recreation Area
Campsites 17 and 18 at Sly Park Recreation Area sit next to Jenkinson Lake, and each site can host up to eight people. The sites are shady, spacious and cost $33 per night. The recreation area features 10 campgrounds containing 191 individual sites. Tent camping and parking for RVs that are up to 40 feet long are both permitted, and sites can be reserved up to 14 months in advance.
Wildcat Camp at Point Reyes National Park
Two hours toward the coast is Wildcat Camp at Point Reyes National Park. After taking a two-mile hike, this camp is located in an open meadow on a bluff that overlooks the ocean. Eight campsites are available, and permits for one to six people are $20 per night.