April 29, 2015

Off The Mat: Yoga Boat.

Authors Own

I take my practice with me wherever I go.

It is about 6am and I am sitting on the back of our sailboat in a tranquil bay called Diamond Cay at Little Yost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands.

The breath is not as deep or intentional when we are lost in the moment but the stillness of observation is.

There is a soft morning glow sitting in the air. It is early, but nature is already very busy and although the view (at first glance) seems rigid, just beyond the beautiful façade it has painted for me is a world of chaos barely visible to the eye.

A subtle breeze dances in and out of the trees where the gulls and the frigates are playing catch me if you can. The sea meeting the coral and rock explodes just past the serenity of an inlet where a turtle pops up its head for a quick look around. A school of tiny ballyhoo graze at the edge of the rippled water until something behind them gives them a scare and they all jump at once, creating a shimmer of silver on top of the liquid turquoise.

I take in a quiet nod of gratitude.

The rhythm of my presence in tune with the sun, the moon, the sway of the tidal song is like reaching up and out in reverent salutation—yet I am perfectly still and immersed in my scene. The tune that is caressing me is that of the doves cooing, the water lapping against the side of the hull, and an occasional sound of a splash made by the elegant dive of a pelican.

An unconscious smile takes over my face.

The intensity of the color that surrounds me, the movement, the morning glow against the solidity of the earth laced with a multitude of creatures big and small reminds me that our unique perception should never ever be taken for granted.

As in our practice, there is so much more than what meets the eye.

The cacti that blooms intriguingly brilliant in the harsh and arid soil thrives right next to a pile of ancient boulders and a young palm tree—there is no competition, just a shared space in a small void where time seems to stand still. The harmony is always astounding (to me) as the give and take is truly the meaning and the core of life—our center, our movement, our flow.

Connected by a thread, mindful and elegant, we mimic nature in our nature as we push the limits of what we know against what we don’t know, seen and unseen—still waters run deep.

As it is on the mat, it can be off the mat. Which is the gift of being present to our moments. We don’t have to look far; it is always with us inside out—outside in. The gift of this simplicity…is yoga of the heart.




5 Ways Yoga Has Pervaded My Non-Yogi Life: Like It Or Not.


Author: Debbie Laughlin

Editor: Travis May

Image: Courtesy of Author

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Debbie Laughlin