Words by Melissa Longfellow – BOGA Yoga Ambassador
Cold water, beautiful mountain pond, sunshine and it’s Wanderlust Day 1, class 1. Excitement! I tell my students, “Hey, the water is fresh and refreshing and you might not go in if you want to go conservative and that’s great. And, you might go in and if you do, we are all going to hoot like this: ‘Yeeeehooooooo!!!!’” because it makes it so much more fun! You can’t do that in “regular” yoga class!
And so we begin. The basics and most important things first. I tell my 18 students: “Take a comfortable seat on your board and just look around and take in the beauty that you see, smell, feel and hear. There is no other yoga studio like this. No ceiling or walls. The sky is literally the limit. Feel the gentle flow underneath your board and know that we are going to flow… ”
And here’s what you will notice if you are paying attention: Flow is always happening, just like the movement of the water underneath you. The more closely you pay attention, the more you can join that flow, letting it make your poses even more easeful, softening your joints AND flow wakes you up and engages your stabilizing muscles too… you just have to pull in, squeeze in to center line, draw in, hug your legs in to each other, pull the pit of your belly in…. Am I getting the point across? See, flow is not just about being a happy hippy going where the wind blows and wherever life takes me I just float along and go with it… That’s a common yoga sterotype/misconception. See there is the warrior nature we need too, that balances out the flow. And man, when you are in Warrior I on a SUP, you will get what I’m talking about! You’ve got to pull in so fiercely like your adductors are like ”Whaaaaat?!” and you have to let your joints soften at the same time. Soft and fierce. Strong and malleable. Sound familiar? Yup, it’s all YOGA!
Cheers, smiles, laughter… And so much awesome nature reminding us to practice looking for and creating the balance between the two. In our yoga practice, on the mat, off the mat, onto the mountain, into the water! Can’t wait for the next group of adventurous yogis to come play with me
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