Picture the beach. Feel the warmth from the sun kiss your skin. See the blue-green water. Hear the waves that roll toward the shore, then pull away from it. Picture a surfer riding the waves. Even though the water is turbulent, notice how by tapping into the breath, the core, and by staying flexible, the surfer has the power to balance, to find strength and fluidity, and to dance across the waves. Now see yourself as the surfer standing gracefully on the surfboard…
Happy Friday, Friends!
It’s beach time! Although the past few days have been on the chilly side here in NYC, I have seen folks strutting through the streets with their surf boards lately, perhaps on the way to the Rockaways (a peninsula out in Queens with surf-able beaches). Have you ever been surfing? If not, have you ever watched other people hit the waves? I have not yet explored surfing, although I have a feeling this is the summer that I will. However, I used to teach SUP Yoga (Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga). Balancing on a board in the water is an awesome experience in which no moment can be taken for granted, as the simplest movements become much more challenging. I have noticed that in the moments where I try to stay totally still and hold my breath, I actually am more likely to fall. However, once I accept that the water is going to keep moving, and that I am going to keep moving, I can relax and actually become one with the waves. Of course, I must apply effort, as well. When I combine steady breathing with a strong but supple body, I get into a groove with the water.
On our yoga mats, we need to be strong as well as flexible with ourselves. We must activate the core to keep us safe and to find the strength to practice the poses. When a posture does not feel right, we need to adjust. Sometimes, we need to push ourselves a bit further, and other times, we need to tweak our alignment or give ourselves permission to rest. Meanwhile, the breath helps us focus and find ease.
Off-the-mat, we need to be both strong and flexible in our lives. We must learn when to apply more effort and when to let go of attempts to control a situation. We need to have a solid foundation as well as open hearts. A regular yoga practice is one way to train ourselves to balance effort with ease. Come join me this weekend for class as you prepare to dance across the waves this summer. When we accept that change is coming, that the water will keep moving and that WE will keep moving, we can find a greater sense of balance in our lives.
Check out my calendar for my up-to-date teaching schedule. 😀