Tag Archives: yoga

Paddle-Board Yoga

I’ve been wanting to go do paddle-board yoga since I learned there was such a thing, and yesterday I got my chance. I met my new friend Jennie on the inlet in Port Solerno and we started our journey. We detoured off the big river to a small, one person at a time path through the man-groves. We got through and she said,”I didn’t want to scare you, but sometimes we see a bobcat through that path.”

We ended up on a slow-moving, secluded river, where we did some vinyasa yoga. If you ever did yoga before, imagine doing it with an unstable grounding, a board that kept ending up over at the side of the river, oh, and slippery legs. I think it was really great though because she stressed how you just have to give up the idea of “perfect”. Also, the flow of the river was a constant reminder of allowing myself to let go.

At the end of the river we ended up at a beach reserve. We dropped off our boards and did a small barefoot hike (making sure not to step on the little crabs) to the beach. The cool thing about this beach is that you can’t get to it by car, you have to go by paddle-board/kayak/canoe, and I don’t think a lot of people know about it bc it was empty despite being a beautiful Saturday.

There we meditated. I’m horrible at meditation because I’m constantly planning things. I kept reminding myself to concentrate on the sound of the seagulls and the ocean crashing, but I kept sneaking peaks at her to see if it was over. With relief I finally saw her get up. I went into the water to some of the sand off me. When I got back she said, “I didn’t want to scare you, but all those birds means that there’s a lot of fish, which means there’s probably sharks right there.”

Then we paddled for little while longer and I really focused on listening to her story and found her to be a really remarkable person. She’s had every job from bank clerk to actor, but got into yoga as a way of healing herself from the pull of depression. She now owns a studio in Jensen Beach and spends her Fridays teaching a class to at risk girls.

As we started through the next small mangrove path (about 5 feet across), I saw what I thought (or hoped) were inch in diameter, black crabs crawling in the trees. At one point my board deceived me and I crashed into the thick of it, and I realized with horror, that they were spiders. It got worse. We came up to a part of the path where there were 2 HUGE webs 4 feet over the water across the path. In each web were the biggest spiders I had ever seen. First I got as low as possible on the board and sputtered a bunch of hysterical “ahhh, um uhhhs” as I attempted to stop my board from moving forward. Then I started crying. Then as I started going under, the bigger of the 2 started moving! That’s when I started screaming and crying. I made it through the rest of the path shaking, and she congratulated me on my bravery. Then she said, “I didn’t want to scare you, but we think those spiders are maybe poisonous.”

3.5 hours later we ended up back to our cars. I was so proud of my body for not failing me on the journey, and my ability to preserver through my fears. I felt empowered by her story and the real connection, my inner peace and ability to let go. I knew exactly what she meant when she said yoga is her church, gym and therapist.


The Man Called. Wear Your Sweater Set.

When I was 16 I was driving my Mazda Protege out of a cul-de-sac where my friend lived, and was about to turn onto the main neighborhood street. For some reason there wasn’t a stop sign there (probably because it was logical to stop), and I had a vapid lapse and thought, “Oh, I can just turn onto this street without stopping”. Then a car came whizzing by and I snapped out of my dumb trance. This is how I feel about the idea of “living my life” at this point. There are times I think, “could it be as easy as  just moving forward without fear?”, but then the big car that is work wakes me up. The alarm rings, the man calls and I’m out the door.

What’s more frustrating is that this project has me sitting at work with Walt Whitman in my head saying “reject anything that insults your soul” as my boss asks me to do a project in half the time needed to successfully do it, etc. Surely it’s easier for a writer to discuss staying true to yourself. I guess unless what you have to say as your “true self” doesn’t sell to the mass media.

Today I finished learning  how to successfully start a conversation with a hypothetical Norwegian woman (read: hit on a Norwegian woman), so that’s useful. I read more Cookoo’s nest (feels like a riot is about to ensue). I got done with work early and headed down to Palm Beach for some retail therepy, which I’m counting as a way of continuing to express myself. Now I’m eating some gf pizza (this is rice dough?!), then I’m going out for a little bit. Tomorrow I start the day off with an early hot yoga class, then I head over to Englewood to visit my uncle, aunt and 2 amazing cousins.

Englewood always up to no good!

Be Erika

For the next couple weeks I’m going to try to be more true to myself. This is something I’m sure everyone has found to be hard, whether you bought a new shirt at someone’s recommending, and now it hangs in your closet because it isn’t truly your style, or you didn’t speak up when someone said something you find offensive, maybe even just spent the night watching a Netflix movie you didn’t like, but everyone said it was good. Too often who I am gets lost because of embarrassment, laziness and daydreams of being Zooey Deschanel. Moving to Florida has made it harder than ever to be true to myself, despite taking chances and spending lot of time alone. Around my family and close friends I don’t have to justify yourself (that much)., and I don’t need to explain my jokes or express my deep distaste in fish, and I definitely never have to worry how I’m coming off.

I’m going to be concentrating on some main areas and we’ll see where this developes:

Intellectual: I will be reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey) and maybe some beat lit. I’ll also stop wasting my hour commute to and from work mindlessly listening to pop music. Instead I’ll spend the time learning Norwegian. I know a little Norwegian (Jeg vet litt norsk), but I really want to know more and be able to talk in it with my uncles who speak more of it. Some day I hope to travel to Norway too, and it will help.

Disposition: When I’m upset or sad I tend to try an rationalize it, which sometimes makes it worse. I’m going to concentrate on acknowledging my mood for what it is and try to work with it in a reasonable way. I also think an important thing about being true to yourself is talking to people with confidence. Looking people in the eye and walking with a good posture.

Activities: I will be making a strong attempt to cultivate my hobbies instead of zoning out to whatever is on the TV. Some things I’m interested in are: drawing, painting, reading, listening to music, yoga, paddleboarding, paddleboard yoga (there is such a thing) and baking. I also really enjoy spending time with friends and traveling, and I’ll be able to do both when I visit my friends in Seattle a week from Friday.

If you have any suggestions or advice, I’d love to hear it.