Boat Yoga   Leave a comment

I have been thinking and writing a lot over the past couple weeks about what I miss about life on the mainland. That partly means Denver life and partly Rhode Island marina life. In both places, I relied on many routines but also had access to more of a variety of activities and resources. I wrote a kind of bitter post about this last week but I think I’ll start over.
Now I realize what Lee and I took for granted in my landlocked Denver world. We had a refrigerator and even a freezer (ooh wouldn’t that be nice right now). Electricity and water were seemingly limitless resources. We drove our cars almost every where we needed to go. I didn’t have to limit the amount of food I bought at the grocery store because of transportation and storage concerns. We watched TV, surfed the internet, took long showers, and did laundry whenever we felt like it. Living on the boat in Pirate Cove helped us adjust to a more mindful, less indulgent lifestyle. Still, transitioning to cruising life meant we gave up out trips to the gym plus swimming laps and yoga for me.
This is when I get to the part where  reclaim a lost activity. Last week I finally got motivated to do yoga on the boat. I had been missing the Ashtanga Mysore class I used to attend in Denver and I always intended to start practicing on my own once the weather warmed up and I could do it on the boat or some nearby flat surface. Eventually I decided that the best thing to do was figure out a place on deck to practice so I can do yoga wherever we are (weather permitting). I scoped things out and decided the foredeck was the only place I could fit most of my mat on a relatively flat spot. The space does get narrow in the front and I can’t stretch my mat out all the way but there’s enough room for a short-ish downward dog.
I started with the sun salutations and opening sequence when we were anchored in Whitehall Creek. That was about all my body could handle after months without practicing. My hamstrings were cripplingly sore afterward but I was proud of myself for starting! I didn’t get a chance to practice again till after my bike accident. Even with my stiff neck I made it through the deep twists in the primary series. I was much less sore that time. I only made it to the same place in the series two mornings later but I added what I could from the closing sequence and it was getting easier. This morning I got an early (6:30am) start and made it all the way through in a little over an hour and a half. It felt so great!
There are a few poses I can’t really do, or don’t feel comfortable doing on the boat yet. More of the primary series is do-able on a triangular-shaped, slightly slanted, somewhat mobile foredeck than I thought. I did have some bewildered onlookers this morning. The fisherman gathering bait in the area looked at me like I was insane and people on the cruising boats anchored nearby certainly got a show.
Having conquered the primary series once, I’m sure I won’t have a problem getting in the habit of practicing every other day or so. I know my mind and body feel better when yoga is part of my life. As far as everything else goes, Lee and I are going to work on setting aside time to relax, have fun, and enjoy what we’re doing. Without a clear demarcation between work and play, I find every starts to feel like work. The day starts with cooking, cleaning up, then figuring out what we’re going to do or what needs to get done, maybe going for a run, assembling or disassembling bikes and/or the dinghy, fixing something, raising sails, lowering sails, anchoring, fixing more food, maybe getting ice, groceries, water or fuel, cooking dinner, washing dishes, checking email, maybe blogging, making the bed, and finally sleeping. True many of those things are fun or somehow enable us to do something fun, but some days it all gets lost in a haze of exhaustion for me. Yesterday we biked into Solomons and Lee bought me a super tasty soft serve ice cream come from Cone Island. He made me sit on the grass and relax for 5 minutes before proceeding to the farmers market to get vegetables. That was exactly what I needed.

Posted June 18, 2010 by Rachel in Uncategorized

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