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Gifts of the Sea: Seavasana

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013


Seavasana – Cape Cod

Why I love it!

It was on a very steamy morning about 4 or 5 years ago when I was inspired to take Savasana, the final relaxation portion of a yoga class, into the ocean. Thus Seavasana was born!

Fully clothed, a few of the students joined me as we laid back into the ocean, floated on our backs, with our ears in the sea and drifted with the waves and current. Sounds divine, doesn’t it?

Well, yes but not always right away. The first thing I discovered was my breath was so tight as my body had contracted when it felt the coolness of the ocean. Then I realized, delightfully, that with my ears in the water I could hear my breath so very clearly. Focusing on the sound of my own breath, I used it to help regulate my body and release into the sea. I love that clarity that the sea gives me to hear my breath and feel my tension.

As my body began to relax and float on the waves I could feel this immense sensation of tension in my neck, shoulders and jaw. WHOA! What is that my mind asked, while my breath kept offering me relaxation. I began to feel this smile melt over my heart and run through my body. EASE in a whole new way was the gift the sea gave me.

Over the years many have joined me in this practice, and it is a gift to be present with so many who explore their own bodies (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) in the medium of the sea. I love witnessing the miracles that have been a part of this practice with my fellow students and teachers. I am honored to be present as they birth ease in the flowing nature of the sea.

What I’ve learned

Letting go can be very hard, and equally very easy. It is the conditioning and the conditions that seem to affect our ability to surrender. I have watched and assisted many who bring a fear of the water into the sea with them for Seavasana. Some find their way from a stiffening tension into a jellyfish like floating relaxation in a breath or two. Others ask for assistance and I simply hold their heads until I feel their body go limp and see their breathing regulate, and I release them to their own mastery. It is such an honor to be witness to the powerful transformation of fear into ease.

I’ve learned to open my eyes during this practice and drink in the vastness of space that visually soothes me, as my body feels the vastness of sea floating my body on each wave.

I’ve learned that the powerful nature of this practice of surrender is magnified as the force of a current draws our bodies along the shoreline. Some days we drift aimlessly, while other days it feels like we are flying as the current is swift and the clouds fly with us in the sky.

I’ve been challenged by the windy, wavy days as they present a whole other condition that seems counterintuitive to the practice of Seavasana. In the practice I have been frustrated and fearful of the waves splashing over my face, making me sputter and spew the sea’s waters. I’ve discovered it is less distracting if I position myself with my head into the waves. Even more revealing is the gift given to me the day I surrendered to the conditions of the sea and found my ease and centered nature, even with the ocean boiling and rolling under me. OH, what a gift that I can now walk on land with; to be centered and at ease even when the energy around me is not.

Seavasana is an option we offer at Yoga on the Beach. It is a gift for sure, whether we jump in to cool off, lay back and explore the gifts of the sea or stay on land floating on the sand. Time to just be, to surrender and allow is the offering. It is our joy to create some space for you to explore in.

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Wind Salutation

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Wind Salutation from Yoga on the Beach –

In Yoga class we often honor the Sun, and Moon with a salutation and one day while the wind was blowing 15-20 mph I was inspired to honor the wind with a salutation. Please enjoy it for your personal practice or in teaching others.

In this salutation to the wind your body becomes a weathervane and your breath the wind. Each breath shifts the direction of the weathervane playfully tipping, twirling, aligning. Enjoy!

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Sivasana – Sweet Surrender

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

YOTB KW 09-10 001It was another beautiful morning at Yoga on the Beach today. 

Look at how sweetly the practice of Sivasana carried all sentient beings into surrender.  Even “Old Man”, our yoga dog,  joined us in Sivasana.

Tomorrow is Yoga Rhythms with Don.  Come on down and  flow through the waves of ocean and sacred music with us.  It is so much fun!

Namaste, Nancy

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Alternative Sun Salutation ~ "The Movie"

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Alternative Sun Salutation (Beach) 009

Well you have inspired us again.  Thank you to our students who wanted more visual, and instruction, as well as to Christine for taking the video.  Here I am on a gray Sept morning, enjoying the sound of the ocean playing with shells along the beach, doing this alternative sun salutation.  This is considered one side, repeat again starting with the left foot stepping back for the completion of one round.  Enjoy the strength, balance and breath of this series honoring the power of the sun.  Namaste!  


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Alternative Sun Salutation

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

yoga party 09 012With the up coming Global Mala project I was inspired by some students to come up with a version of sun salutation that does not incur stress on the wrists and shoulders. So here it is, a version of sun salutation that opens up the possibility for more of you to participate, and enjoy the practice.

We hope to see you on Sept 19th at 8:00 am, as we share this special day and raise funds and consciousness for Peace. Remember if you can’t make it that day, you can still share in the practice. Start doing a few sun salutations a day, track them on your own, and when you get to 108 celebrate with us! If you’d like to donate with us to the Carter Center for Peace contact Nancy at nancy@yogaonbeach.com.
Namaste and happy salutations!

Nancy’s Alternative Sun Salutation:
Begin in Mountain
Inhale arms over head (backbend if appropriate) mountain
Exhale forward bend
Inhale step back with right foot into high lunge
Exhale lift torso into jack knife arms extended (head and shoulders at hip height)
Inhale into Warrior I
Exhale step forward into Mountain
Inhale Warrior I with right foot forward, left foot back
Exhale step left foot forward into forward bend
Inhale Mountain arms overhead (backbend if appropriate)
Exhale Mountain hands at heart center.

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