Off the mat and into the wind

A fellow Yogi of mine once asked me if it was hard to meditate while on a boat, because of the lack of sustained stillness. I said no, that I enjoyed meditating on a boat because I meditated with the water.

I took my Stand up Paddle board out today. When I first paddled out to sea the water was calm, the breeze subtle. I paddled out to a buoy and fastend the leash to it and prepared my self for you know it…SAVASANA or more widely understood as “Corpse” pose. I lay on the board, eyes closed, breath soft. Relaxed. Once in a while the breeze would dance across my exposed skin, tickling and teasing. A little wave would pick my board up gently, mother ocean rocking me; coyly initiating play; or was she presenting me with a challenge?

The next wave to pick me up was significantly larger; the water splashing across my board, drenching my shorts. I continued to breath and concentrate on calmness. But the waves continued to roll under me, water  persisting to lap up on my board. It was colder than I cared to endeavor so I sat up, opened my eyes to see that not only had the current picked up, but so had the wind. The wind and the current were working in opposite directions, creating an unsettling chop. Okay. Balance I thought to myself. I can work with this. I turned around, grabbed ahold of my leash and began to pull myself towards the buoy, the rear of my board quickly became submerged in the water so I let go of the leash and surfaced again. So the current is stronger than I thought. I watched the rippling water glide past my board. I attempted paddling towards the buoy, but wind and current would not suffice in my favor. Shit. So much for meditation. The buoy only 10 feet away, the leash completely TAUT, and My board yearning to go with the current. I sat, centered on my board. Dont panic. It’s funny. I’m stuck at a buoy. Awesome. Just go with it. Thoughts entering and exiting my mind. Ride the wave of your breath.  I took the paddle, twisted my gaze aft and hooked the paddle handle to the leash, balanced breath, belly in and strong, I mindfully, gradually pulled myself towards the buoy, working with the resistance of the elements until I successfully freed leash from buoy and was cruising though the water once again.

As I paddled for calmer waters I thought to myself: Yet again, yoga presents its power off the mat. Sometimes we find ourselves in the midst of chaos in what was seconds before bliss and tranquility. Thats how life works. A dedicated Yoga practice teaches us to remain calm, strong and mindful when faced with theses situations. Take it back onto the mat for a moment to offer perspective; you are being guided through a sequence of postures, you are feeling great, when suddenly you find yourself in a pose that presents a new set of challenges; you start to experience feelings of doubt and fear, maybe struggle with mental barriers or physical restrictions. What do you do? You breath. You engage your belly your core. You listen to those instincts of strength and peace from within and you dont force anything, you simply and patiently seek balance and either stay put or move forward one breath at a time. Do what you can and flow with the rest.


Om Shanti


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