What You Need to Know about Yoga

The yoga lifestyle has flooded from the exercise scene to the fashion scene… And we love it! With its rich history and famed popularity, it’s no wonder people want in. This is what you need to know about yoga to get you started.


Yoga in Ancient India

The first evidence of yoga could be as early as 500BCE in India. Ancient texts elaborate on the benefit of harmony between mind and body.

The practice of yoga began as far back as 500 BCE in Ancient India – that’s 2,500 years ago! It closely ties to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Yoga was practiced as a form of religious meditation meant to “yoke” the mind and body. This “yoking” is achieved through the harmony of relaxing, breathing, stretching, posing, and meditating. There are similarities between ancient and modern versions, but today it is frequently performed as a healthy exercise. Yoga became popular in the United States in the 1890’s when intellectuals became interested in the subject. There was a second boom of interest in the 1980’s. Since then, millions of people have taken up the activity in the United States.



Modern yoga has taken on many forms in recent years – Hot, Hatha, Laughing, Prenatal, Power, Men’s Only, Women’s Only  – the opportunities seem endless. We’ve even heard of one form called “GLOWGA” that features black lights, lasers and high energy music! Yogatrail.com has come up with a funny, but useful guide to find the form of yoga that suits you best.

Yoga Chart


Yoga on Rock

The benefits can be profound when practiced regularly.

Physical, mental and spiritual benefits have been studied on people who practice yoga. Among the many benefits are:

  • Increased Balance and Flexibility
  • Healthier Heart
  • Stress Relief (and the laundry list of the negative effects of stress is a long one)
  • Relief of Minor Aches and Inflammation
  • Happiness and Tranquility



Yoga is HOT right now. From doing yoga to dressing yoga, its popularity has grown tremendously. Women’s everyday attire has become yoga pants and an athletic top. Any woman who lives an active life can be found wearing this lifestyle clothing. Even though we’ve all seen the typical black, elastic, three-quarter length pant, it’s still as stylish as ever. And it’s easy to keep your active-wear wardrobe fresh. Find the little distinctions that make each pair unique. Some are tight, some are loose. Some flare at the bottom, others hold form. One has a wide waistband, the next is narrow. And with the introduction of new colors and prints, the yoga style has leapt from casual to classy! Find the hottest yoga attire from brands like Lole and Lucy at Alabama Outdoors.

Park Bio: Red Mountain Park

Red Mountain Park Vista

One of the beautiful vistas found in Red Mountain Park. Seen here is a view of Downtown Birmingham from “Grace’s Gap”.


How great would it be to have acres of woodlands, hiking trails and zip lines in your own backyard? It seems like that could only be an outdoor enthusiasts’ dream, but our friends on the Red Mountain Park Commission, Friends of Red Mountain Park and the Red Mountain Park Staff have made all of that, and more, a reality! Dive a little deeper and see what it is that makes Red Mountain Park a “gem” of the Birmingham community.




Red Mountain has a rich history that began with its wealth of resources. The mountain was the home of a highly technical mining outfit that was overseen by US Steel. Over the years, cheaper ways to mine became available, and after nearly 100 years of mining operations on the mountain, US Steel officially closed the doors to production in 1962.

The land then sat virtually untouched for nearly 50 years. Having been stripped of most of its greenery and woodlands, the land needed time to repopulate its habitat and wildlife. To the benefit of the mountain’s vitality, the area flourished. In 2007, with the help of the Freshwater Land Trust and other devoted parties, US Steel made one of the nation’s largest corporate land donations in U.S. history. They sold the approximately 1,200 acres of land to the Red Mountain Park and Recreational Area Commission at an extremely discounted price and then provided an additional $1 million dollar donation. Since this point in time, Red Mountain Park has become an outdoor playground for outdoor enthusiasts. On the doorsteps of downtown Birmingham, the park offers 11 miles of hiking and biking trails, the Red Ore Zip Tour, the Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest, several mining ruins, 3 treehouses, the Remy’s Dog Park, and the Kaul Adventure Tower that is currently under construction and slated to open this Fall.


Remy’s Dog Park (Opening September 6th, 2014)

Remy's Dog Park Map

Remy’s Dog Park is the culmination of gracious donations, dedicated volunteers, and community involvement. Over 250 community volunteers cleared 6 acres of land to allow for the three separate “bark park” areas, including spaces for small dogs, large dogs and special needs dogs (elderly, shy, injured or recovering). This makes Remy’s Dog Park the largest of its kind in the state! Each designated off-leash area hosts shaded areas, open fields, and water sources making it the perfect pet friendly environment. Remy’s Dog Park is set to open Saturday September 6, 2014. The park will allow visitors at 9am and a special ribbon cutting ceremony with donor Ken Jackson and Mayor William Bell will begin at 11am.

Entrance to Remy's Dog Park

Remy's Dog Park paths


Kaul Adventure Tower

Kaul Adventure Tower Plans

Bringing a whole new level of high flying, treetop fun! The Kaul Adventure Tower project that is currently under construction will deliver a climber’s paradise. An 80ft tall structure will feature 8 climbing lanes, some peaking at 72ft! You can rappel down from 72ft and 36ft, or zip your way down superman style. Prepare yourself for another awesome adventure at Red Mountain Park.

Kaul Adventure Tower Stage 1 Construction

Kaul Adventure Tower Phase 2


Red Ore Zip Tour

Red Ore Zip Tour

A high-flying adventure through the treetops! The Red Ore Zip Tour offers a bird’s eye view of the wilderness, mining history, and 3 treehouses as it crosses the park. Hike, Sky Bridge, zip line, rope swing & rappel through the park with nothing but the wind in your hair and the trees at your back.


Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest

Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest | Miner's Walk

This high ropes adventure course offers 20 unique treetop obstacles ranging from tight ropes to climbing walls to swinging bridges. Whether you like a good challenge or you’re a bit of a daredevil, this course will surely keep you on your toes.


Hiking & Biking, Mine Ruins & Mountain Tops

Red Mountain Park Trail Map Aug 2014 with Remy's Dog Park

You can’t go wrong with 11 miles of hiking trails, 7 miles of biking trails and 2 miles of flat trail terrain ONLY 15 MINUTES from downtown Birmingham. It’s like having a personal forest in your backyard! Beautiful vistas at Grace’s Gap and Ishkooda Overlook frame the city and Jones Valley while a series of hiking trails take you past old mine ruins and natural features. It is no wonder that Red Mountain Park has contributed so much to helping Birmingham get named one of the “greenest” cities in the nation.

Directions to Red Mountain Park here.


Tuesday Night Trails

Tuesday Night Trails

This event is one of Alabama Outdoors’ own partnerships with the folks at Red Mountain Park. Every summer for the past 3 years, RMP and AO have offered up a FREE opportunity for runners of all skill levels to join in trail running the scenic trails at Red Mountain. Camaraderie, perspiration, and laughter are just the tip of the iceberg at this weekly Tuesday night event. Prepare yourself for the numerous trail races around Birmingham, or just come out for fun! The free trail runs start up in late spring (March/April) and finish up around Labor Day (September).


Summer Camp

Summer Camp at Red Mountain Park

Archaeological digs, zip line tours, overnight campouts, creating artwork, and survival skills are just a few activities that filled Red Mountain Park’s various summer camps. This past year 4 different week long camps were featured: Adventure Camp, Archaeology Camp, Art Camp, and Nature Camp. Each week gave the campers a different opportunity to learn specialized (and fun!) skills. There is a place for everyone to learn something new!


Red Mountain Park truly is a valued member of the parks located in and around Birmingham. They have already contributed so much and yet they consistently have been striving to provide more accessibility and activities to the area. It is an incredible pleasure to be able to partner with Red Mountain Park and all that they represent in the outdoor community!

Find your next adventure at Red Mountain Park!