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Yoga Philosophy Explored on the Beach

September 2nd, 2016

Each morning when Don and I step out onto the beach to teach we find opportunities to live our yoga. Teaching in Nature gives us no room for expectations, only opportunities to be present, flow with what is happening and walk the path of acceptance. This season Cape Cod gave us so many opportunities to do all of that! This article is our Thanksgiving to our teachers!

 

IMG_3653THE TRACTOR –

Randomly the tractor joins us out on the beach. We hear it coming off in the distance on different days, at different times during class. The driver is doing his job in cleaning the beach before it is littered with people, chairs and beach toys galore. It rumbles down the beach, chugging and spewing, as it bumps along clattering with the sound of rocks tumbling.

 

Resist it or flow with it seems to be our options, and yoga teaches us to go with moments like this and find ways to work with what IS. We make space for its path, cue only when it is has moved further down the beach, and in doing so it seems the driver has recognized that we are working with him. Recently I noticed that he has shifted his routine staying at the far end of the beach until we are done with class rather than driving past us numerous times. I find great gratitude for this teaching of collaboration.

 

THE WEATHER –

When most of us think of Yoga on the Beach, the images are of a beautiful sunny day with a gentle breeze, the sound of the ocean’s chant of waves lapping the shore and the smell of the sea enthusing our practice. Many of our days out there are just like that, and then there are the challenging days of heat, threatening rain, chilly cold morning or humidity!

 

We have learned to adjust our teaching to the ever-changing nature of weather in “our studio”! I remember once being at Omega inside one of their beautiful classrooms and walking over to the thermostat to see if I could adjust it. It was unlocked with a small piece of paper taped underneath it with one word on it – ADJUST. I stood there for a moment as I realized how powerful that one word was and that I had a choice to adjust the thermostat on the wall or within myself. I chose the inner path, walked back to my place in class and continued on.

 

Don and I hold that lesson for our classroom, giving each student space to find their way to adjusting to the day. Face the sun, or keep your back to it. Stand by the water to cool down or IN IT! Wear layers for warmth or sun protection with the option of stripping down to your bikini.

 

We never know what the weather will be as it can shift even during class, and we amp it up for those days that start out chilly, or slow it down on the 3 H days of hazy, hot and humid.

THE FLIES –

This summer brought on an unusual amount of North winds that drive black flies onto the beach during class. What a challenge these small biters can be, and an opportunity to work with “what IS”!

 

One of the mornings was during Yin Yoga, which was a cooler morning then usual thank goodness, as the group did great in covering themselves with blankets to keep the flies off. It can be tough to find stillness while being bit, but it sure gave us the opportunity to practice finding inner peace over and over and over again!

 

Another morning we learned that you can run but you can’t hide with these persistent bugs. We started out on our mats, then moved to practice by the water (they followed us), then up on the deck (they found us again but in less numbers.) So we settled in and enjoyed using the props of chairs and wall to explore our practice. Guess who moved onto the beach while we were up on the deck? YUP, the tractor and what a perfect time to show up as we were already off the beach.

 

THE LESSONS –

Be Present

Be Open to what IS

Find your way to acceptance of what is happening and then while flowing with it, continue to walk the path of ease, joy and learning.

Create space for others to find their way.

Use resistance wisely

 

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Croatia, you stole our hearts!

July 4th, 2016

IMG_2860“Why Croatia?”, was a question we were often asked as we marketed Dalliance at Sea – a yoga passage through Croatia.   To be honest I can’t remember how Croatia came to be in our sphere of choices, but once it was, there was no turning back. It seems like many Americans have no idea where it is, let alone why we wanted to go there. For us it had the appeal of a small, not over-visited country with thousands of islands, diverse landscape, activities to enjoy and history to uncover. What we found was so much more.

 

From the big cities, Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, to the small villages, Korchula, Trisnik, Bol, we discovered the charm of its people, history and food. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. They seemed to enjoy one another and there was an easy flow to the day to day commuting about the city or town. Every meal was delicious! The history of the city and country is so rich and complex, with all of the civilizations that contributed to its current culture.

 

IMG_2881We discovered the country side with its rolling hills, mountains, lakes, waterfalls and miles of shoreline. Flower, fauna and colors galore were the eye candy of this trip, with each area we traveled through giving us an array of nature’s magic! Plvitice National Park is a must see, and our day was made special with rain to add to the watery magic

 

IMG_3159There is something very special here that we are missing in the US. Self-responsibility is predominant and I found it so refreshing. This is one of the things I love about traveling; the discovery of new perspectives and Croatia gave me the awareness of how much living in a litigiousness society has created restrictions. We say we have freedom, but I came to discover how limited that sense of freedom is in light of the ways of Croatia. I truly enjoyed a sense of freedom in Croatia that I haven’t felt for many years.

 

Thank you to our wonderful group of adventurers who added laughter, spirit, friendship and warmth to this marvelous trip! To our new friends who we said goodbye to in Croatia, we shall be back! Stay tuned for our next adventure!13432169_10210154019397638_7541739182952320263_n

 

 

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Summer Musings

June 1st, 2016

6359662828981496261387488429_summer-06.jpgSummer is just around the corner, and late spring has heralded in a taste of warm weather that has me musing about summer. Images, sounds and memories filter through my day, as my heart dances in anticipation.

 

Watching dragonflies flitting by as they snap up mosquitoes.

Flowers galore!

Tasting honeysuckle’s sweetness on the tip of my tongue.

The warmth of a summer’s day

Salty breezes

Mist over a harbor, as the ghost ships at anchor float in and out of vision

The songbirds singing on a warm summer’s afternoon

Building sandcastlessandcastle

Long cooling dips in the ocean

Moonlight rising from the sea

Fireflies!

The cries of the osprey calling to their young

Walking hand in hand with a child to the beach

Kite flying

The smell of an evening’s fire

S’mores

Badmitton

Hammock swingingrope-hammocks

Laughter and Joy!

 

And of course Yoga on the Beach!

 

What are some of your summertime musings?

 

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Completion and Transitions

May 7th, 2016

IMG_0425Congratulate this year’s Becoming Yoga Teacher Training class of 2016!  It is a truly remarkable 200 hour journey that each one of these devoted yoga practitioners have completed towards becoming Yoga teachers.  Look out world there are some bright lights shining and sharing yoga with you!  Next program begins January 2017.

 

Don and Nancy are on the move.  We say adieu to our beloved island as we start our journey north soon.  We look forward to seeing our friends and family, making summer memories and our trip to Croatia.  Nancy will be posting on Facebook if you want to travel with us vicariously.

 

HeartMath-Certified-CoachNancy has just completed a training program as a HeartMath® Mentor Coach. She is delighted to be offering this transformational program that trains the heart mind connections.  If you are interested in making a lifestyle shift from overstressed and depleted, to one of feeling ease, peaceful and energetically renewed contact her directly by email or phone 508-737-3211.  This program will teach you easy to use, on the go techniques that have immediate results, that are long term sustainable.  To get things started Nancy is offering a 50% off package for the first 10 clients who sign up – 4 sessions $200.00 (regularly $395.00)

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SUP Love!

April 6th, 2016

I’m often asked “what do you like about Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)?” It is a great question and IMG_4431one that I love as it helps me to move from the passion in my heart, joy in my body and elation in my spirit into the words that express it. To be honest it can be challenging for me to express in words those feelings of heart, body and spirit. Finding those words that might give the person asking me “why” an understanding is often even more challenging when they have never experienced SUP.

 

Have you ever had that experience? Have you been asked to express something that is so visceral that words can only begin to interpret the experience? Or maybe it is being so kinesthetic that we are less verbal and visual in our experiences and that makes it a difficult task to bring words to it.

 

I feel my experiences more than see or hear them. My spirit is right there with me on the board, cheering me on to embrace the beauty, to challenge the skills of the body and mind, and to care for the environment around me.

 

There is such a deep sense of honor that I feel when I’m standing on the water, gliding across her, or riding her forces in waves and currents. I respect all that power that Mother Nature has and feel privileged to harness it in such a loving experience. To catch the wind on my back on a downwind ride, while feeling a wave pulling me through the water is amazing. No ride at Disney compares to it for me.

 

Digging in when I’m challenged by wind, current, or the miles I’m putting in sparks the warrior spirit in me. I feel the “I can do this” spirit strong in me at those points, and the rush of that spirit kicks up something long-lasting in me. Hours after I have paddled, my energy and spirit continues to soar even though it would make sense that I would be feeling tired after the exertion of the ride.

 

Spending all that time on the water has raised my consciousness about what a gift our waterways and oceans are. It seems to be a gift that many take for granted. The lack of consciousness in others concerns me, as over the years of being out on the water, sailing or paddling, I have seen a tremendous decrease in the health of the waters I paddle. I do what I can in clearing the trash and plastic I find while on the water or along the shoreline. At the same time I look for ways to raise others consciousness about the gifts we will miss if we don’t start taking care of our seas, rivers, and lakes. We live in an ecosystem that is all about connection. If one part becomes “sick” it affects the rest of the system. Your litter does make a difference, so dispose of it properly, use less plastic and spread the word! Clean water to enjoy recreationally is something I hope to pass down for many generations.

 

My yoga practice off the mat is ever present for me on the board. Starting with the breath, always the breath, I am connected to the waves, the stroke and the wind through my breath. Of course the agility, balance and strength I have from my yoga practice is an asset but it is the spirit and mind’s practice that I feel alive during a paddle. Being present on the board is an aptitude I recognize I have gained over the years of practicing yoga. Then there is the mindfulness that slips off the yoga mat and rides with me on the board. It is the mindfulness that helps me keep a clear mind and uplifted spirit, not to mention the cheerleading I get in being mindful each moment. If I start to feel a bit of lagging in my physical or mental experience it is in that mindful moment I switch gears, dig in and look at ways to be uplifted.

 

Often how I answer that question about why I like SUP is usually this; “It is the closest I’ll every get to walking on water.” The elation I get when I go places I have never been to by boat before(sailing or other) is irreplaceable. The inner goddess of adventure is enlivened every time I get on my board on a new waterway, or go to discover new places. For me that is the spark that keeps on giving! I am like the character Forrest Gump, I want to just keep on going! See you around that next island.

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