Beach Yoga

2016-05-10 08.57.01

I was blessed enough to have been able to travel this past week down to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with my wife. It was a chance to destress, catch up on some family time, soak in the warm weather. Keeping in stride with my normal daily practice, I found myself waking up each morning right before the sun came up. I grabbed my blanket and my day pack and headed down to the beach to practice yoga and meditate.

This was my first time ever practicing yoga on a beach. I found the loose sand to be difficult at first. But after a little while I found myself moving slowing, allowing myself to fully sink into the sand before going further. Completely feeling the Earth. Allowing myself to be engulfed by the smells of the ocean breezes. The cacophony of birds talking to one another came from all around me. And I became I. Eventually coming to a cross-legged position. And I sat. Waves came in. Waves came out. Much like my breath. And the world was waking up.

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Rest

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I have entered a short period of rest, which is must needed. I have just completed a 10 week strength training program that just uses bodyweight. I reached the 7 mile mark while running on the elliptical machine at the gym, I have learned a few new yoga poses (one being the Bird of Paradise captured in the image), and have entered the world of hot vinyasa yoga with an incredible teacher.

To celebrate this period of rest and allow by body to rest I grabbed “The Art of Power” by Thich Nhat Hahn, by trusty 4 legged canine companion, and I laid in bed napping and reading yesterday, only to have happy interruptions from glorious cups of Hojicha Tea. It was indeed a perfect day for a rest since the snow was flying on a spring day.

I have a tendency to push myself hard in everything I do. If one does not fully give 100%, it is not worth doing. However I often overlook the need to allow my body to rest as well. One’s 100% becomes less and less when the body and mind are not allowed to rest.

This morning there grey skies and snow on the ground, which tells me that it is another perfect day for resting. I will finish my chai tea, do some light yoga to loosen up my body and work the kinks out, then I will sit in meditation until the family awakens. Today I spend the day with them.

Saturday Mornings

I like to get up early on the Weekends, especially on Saturdays. It gives me a change to decompress and allows time for myself after a busy week. My wife prefers to sleep in. That is her “me” time. My favorite part is sitting on my folded blanket on my yoga mat

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Image shot with iPhone6s

with a cup of coffee and just being thankful that I am here on this day. That I am still alive and no matter what obstacles presented itself to me this week, they too shall pass.

Saturday mornings are quite and peaceful and filled with the morning coos of the turtle doves that like to sit on our roof and call out to each other.

The finishing of my coffee leads into yoga; yoga leads into meditation. Before I know it there is rumbling in the bedroom, coming down our short little hallway, and then bursting into the room is my dog. Licking my face and dancing around, he himself, very happy that another day has come and that we are all here. And Saturday awakens.

Side Crow

File Mar 01, 11 16 53 AM  I have been exposed to the knowledge of understanding many yoga poses. This is fascinating to me because once what seemed impossible to do, was really quite doable. I have a wonderful teacher that introduces something more advanced every week. For years I have dabbled in only a small handful of inversions and arm balances, until recently something clicked inside of me that made me want to really master yoga. To understand it and practice it to the best of my abilities.

This meant become proficient in the the poses that I used to drool over in amazement and awe. So the next day I started strength training in order to do handstands. This newly earned strength opened the doors to new areas that were once closed. Once I started understanding how to get into position, and not having a fear of falling, I started trying out every new pose that was taught to me. Some went very well, some were way easier that I thought, and some ended up with me planting my face into the floor. That is ok. Falling is normal at times and I have become much better friends with the ground that was only best known by my feet.

The above shot was taken the night after I learned how to do the side crow. I rushed home to photograph it quick my with my phone. This is the pose that amazed me at how easy it was for me, but only after understanding. Dedication is a wonderful thing.

 

Breaking Through My Fears

File Mar 01, 11 22 02 AM I have somehow always been afraid of touching my feet as a child. My feet were very ticklish to the point of pain if someone tickled them. I realized a few years ago that if I embraced that fear and kept touching them, even allowing someone to massage them, this fear would go away. I have progressed quite far with this practice. I am still ticklish a bit, but I now enjoy having my feet touched and massaged. I make sure to hold them in various poses to make sure they now that I appreciate them for all they do for me and that I will do everything I can to take care of them. I practice this concept in other aspects of my life where I show signs of fear.