This summer I’ve been teaching a lot of yoga, but oddly enough none of the yoga I am teaching is in a traditional yoga studio or gym setting. I’m teaching yoga on the beach, stand up paddle board (SUP) yoga and aqua yoga in a pool. Three totally different environments, each presenting it’s own set of unique challenges to a yoga practice.
The one common theme or intention that I keep coming back to in my teaching in these unique environments is the idea of mindful transitions. Each of them requires you to move in a slightly different way than you are used to in your yoga practice.
On land, you may seamlessly move from pose to pose without thinking about it, but move to quickly during your transition on a paddle board and you’re going for a swim! (Note that that’s always a bad thing – a dip in the water is often welcome on a warm day!)
We’ll get to that pose (and stay dry!), we just need to be mindful of our journey there!
As I keep revisiting this idea of mindful transitions, I find myself sharing with my classes that while we are moving through physical transitions in our yoga practice, this intention or idea of mindful transitions can (and should!) follow us off our yoga mats (boards/pool/beach, etc.) and into the rest of our living.
Beach yoga demonstrates how sometimes we need to make adjustments.
When we’re practicing yoga on land we’re sure footed and steady. On the beach the sand moves and shifts below us and we may need to take the time to transition in a way that accommodates for these unexpected changes.
Be flexible in life and make the small adjustments you need to keep your footing throughout your journey.
Aqua yoga shows us that we can continue to flow through resistance.
Aqua yoga is such a beautiful practice! The water provides a soothing environment, but at the same time there is an aspect of gentle resistance as you move through it. The less you disturb the water, the easier is it to move through it.
You will meet resistance in life. Continue to move through your journey mindful of these transitions and the waters will stay calm.
SUP yoga teaches us the importance of balance.
SUP yoga highlights the importance of balance in our transitions. As we move from pose to pose on a paddle board it’s important to be aware of our center of gravity, to move slowly and mindfully balancing our weight on the unsteady surface of the board.
Finding balance in life is important (and unfortunately not as easy as cueing someone to engage their core muscles!).
Sometimes instead of running from task to task, we need to slow down, turn off auto-pilot and become more mindful about how we are transitioning through our days. Our weeks. Our lives.
You may fall down (we all do!)…
And when you get back up make adjustments, find your balance, move calmly through the resistance and enjoy the journey.
(Oh, and engage your core! Always engage your core!)