Wednesday, July 3, 2013

SUP Yoga to Start the Week

SUP Yoga on a Monday Morning

What You'll Need: A Board, Some Balance, and a Sense of Humor


No DIY today, just some ramblings, but that's sort of how things have been lately... so I'm just gonna go with it...

It's been a crazy week. Not bad, necessarily, but just full of a lot of, well, challenges. So I'm trying to adjust my outlook, breathe, and remind myself about how I started the week, because that's what's going to help me keep my sanity.

Standup Paddleboard Yoga!  Out on the water, first thing Monday morning, I sat on my board, my eyes closed, listening to the waves breaking around me. Centering my mind and breath, moving slowly through poses, and even taking a particularly messy fall off my board during a transition to Warrior 1 :)

I've been away from my yoga practice for a while (I got my 200-hr YA Certification in 2007, but since I had kids, it's been tough to establish some consistency), but Monday reminded me why yoga is so important for my balance and stability. Because anyone who practices yoga knows that the practice goes well beyond the mat. I imagine the practice on the mat as little metaphors for my life. Here's what I learned on Monday, and what I'm trying to internalize this week:

Lessons Learned from Standup Paddleboard Yoga

  • It takes me way too long to settle into practice and release external stressors. I need to dedicate myself to a more regular practice so that this can come more naturally again.
  • Sometimes new situations require us to modify our instinctual responses. Yoga on a paddleboard is not the same as yoga on a mat. I realized I needed to widen my stance and approach the poses much more slowly. It forced me to be more mindful during every little transition. In my life, I'm constantly rushing around. With three kids and what seems like a never-ending "to-do" list, I'm rarely paying attention to all of our transitions. I think if I slowed down just a little and became more present during all of that, I may actually turn some of that chaos into a little more balance.
  • I fell of my board twice on Monday morning. No, I didn't want to, but it happened, and I laughed! I know I used to have a better sense of humor, well maybe not better, but certainly more accessible. I definitely need to laugh about things more. Life's just more fun that way.
  • Sometimes the best props are the unexpected ones! Ever realize a paddle can be used as a yoga prop? This lesson is great for my DIY side :) Adapt!
  • And the most important: "Ride out the waves in Child's Pose." That's what Heather, our teacher, said as we experienced the effects of a motorboat's wake. And as I lay in Child's Pose, feeling my board rock back and forth, I realized that that particular skill stretches way beyond the mat, or, should I say, the board. Just taking an opportunity to internalize, to rest, and re-energize during difficult times can help us feel more controlled as we continue to approach life's challenges.
So that's what I'm trying to do this week. Ride out the waves in Child's Pose. One breath at a time, one wave at a time, one day at a time.

SUP Yoga is so much fun, and I'm psyched I found this class! If you're in the CT area, check out Downdog Paddle & Yoga to join in a class! You can rent a paddleboard, so don't worry if you don't have your own. And I have a feeling there will be more SUP posts to come from me :)

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