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Adventure 8: Beach Yoga

March 15, 2012

I like looking at the magazine rack when I grocery shop. I never actually buy the magazines, but the cover photos are  fun to check out. There’s those super macho muscle men who have entire bodies that look like the Brain’s head (of Pinky and…). Gross. The quilting magazines are always sporting pictures of gorgeous pieces that look more like modern art than a grandma’s hobby (no offense, grandmas, I’m a quilter too). And Downward Dog magazine always shows a beautiful woman doing something impossible with her body on a remote beach somewhere warm.

It’s that last option that got my wheels turning. Every yoga magazine on the planet has pictures of yogis doing Warrior II barefoot next to the ocean. It’s a lovely picture — peaceful, quiet, calming — much more relaxing than my own Yogi experiences of stealing picnic baskets. But here’s my question: where are all these yoga beaches? I’ve seen overweight Europeans on a Grecian beach, overweight Americans on a Florida and Mexican beach, and snotty kids on the public Michigan beach. No yogis. Hmmm. *Turning of the wheels*

Yesterday afternoon was one of the most beautiful days we’ve had in a long time. March on Lake Michigan is usually gray and cold and wet, but yesterday was a windows down, singing along with The Killers, open the windows, walk around the apartment in my underpants, buying yellow daisies, hanging birdhouses kind of beautiful day. So when my husband came home from work and said, “I have a great idea…”, my first thought was Yay! We get to skip our P90X Yoga X workout today! I should have known better. He never lets me skip anything. He did, however, propose we take Yoga X down to the beach.

Thankfully, our apartment complex is situated on a private beach, so there weren’t any Frisbees flying at our heads or kids running around. The sand was perfect and, for the most part, undisturbed. The beach here is as good as any tropical beach. The sand is pale, soft, and fine — the kind that squishes between your toes and is comfy under your butt. And the water was exquisitely blue, reflecting the color of the sky. The wind that skipped off the water was heated by the setting sun, getting nice and warm by the time it touched us on the beach. I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful day.

I could, however, imagine a little extra grace on my part. Balance postures are quite tricky to do in the sand. One moment, I’d be holding a strong Warrior III pose, exhilarated by the fresh air and sound of lapping water…and the next moment, I was on my butt with more than enough sand in my underpants. Downward Dog, on the other hand, was great to do on the beach. The sand actually helped stabilize me. The Indian guys that ran by didn’t even laugh at us. I think we looked pretty darn good doing those.

We did the whole workout by memory in about fifty minutes. When we use the P90X video inside, it takes about ninety, so that was an added bonus. But was it really that different from doing the workout inside? Are those magazines actually on to something?

Absolutely, yes. One goal I was hoping to accomplish with this blog was to connect with nature more than I have in the past. Between working inside all day and thoroughly enjoying PS3 entertainment, the last few years have been spent indoors. It’s really quite…blah. What better way to connect with nature than through yoga?

The Sanskrit word Yoga literally means “yoke”, from the root yuj meaning to unite or to attach (if you trust Wikipedia, that is). After 9 weeks of P90X I suppose I’m getting closer and closer to being built like an ox, so being yoked might be the perfect thing for me, whether yoking up with self-discipline or harnessing me ego to my id. There’s plenty of philosopher and psychological bloggers around here who can explain all that jazz better than I can.






Here’s what I know: Doing yoga outside feels good. Having the sun shine on my face feels good. Meditating next to my husband on the beach feels good. Watching birds fly over 90 miles of open water and perfect sky feels good. Sand can easily be washed out of buttcracks. Sand is great for exfoliation.

The only downside? Someone stole my flip-flops.



One Comment leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    March 15, 2012 10:14 pm

    This picture is exquisite. I’m sitting here wondering why you haven’t called me yet today since getting off work. Looking at this pic, I know why I’m still waiting for your call. Enjoy darlin’.

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