Yoga, Swimming, and Flow Arts (Unlocking Our Superpowers)
I began practicing yoga in the end of 2010. It was 2 weeks after being hit by a car on the Bike Trip. We were staying in San Francisco, and there was a super groovy studio called “Yoga to the People.” This donation based studio attracted 50 - 100 people into a massive room with a wooden floor on the 3rd floor of a downtown building. I was rehabilitating my knee after getting stitched up. With just a few classes doing as many poses as I could, I could feel my body getting stronger. When I moved back to Peaceburgh, I found the local “Yoga Hive” and began practicing vigorously, often attending 2 Vinyasa classes every day.
Since this initial love affair with yoga back in 2010, I have essentially had a daily practice. There is rarely a day that goes by without me doing some sort of yoga routine. I’ve experimented with many different styles. As you’ve probably figured out by now, I love to sweat, so hot yoga is especially near and dear to me. Bikram has its benefits, though I definitely prefer the flowing movements of Vinyasa over the more static poses of Bikram. Overall, I invite you to explore the wide array of styles, studios, and teachers to discover what styles you resonate with most.
The Extended Savasana Superpower : One of my biggest issues with doing Yoga classes in a studio is that the teacher usually gives you between 3 and 7 minutes for Savasana (the pose at the end of class where you completely relax and lay flat on your mat). I believe this is robbing you of one of the greatest opportunities for bliss, relaxation, and true union with the divine. I invite you to find time and space to allow for at least 10 minutes, ideally up to 30 minutes in this pose. I absolutely promise you that you will thank me if you try this out :) It’s supremely awesome!
Swimming is an excellent form of “cross training” to combine with running, strength training, yoga, etc. Swimming is great for increasing full body awareness. It can be both relaxing and extremely intense, sometimes at the same time. Swimming laps is great for endurance, and I also love to vigorously tread water in order to give my muscles a dynamic workout. Swimming also works wonders for dissolving the perceived separation between mind and body. In the water, there is only unity, and simply immersing yourself in water enhances the unity within yourself! Which way is the beach, bro? Haha, just kidding :) Whether in a pool, pond, or with Mama Ocean, swimming is a phenomenal practice.
Flow Arts and Martial Arts
When I speak of Flow Arts I mean activities like spinning poi, a staff, dancing with a hula-hoop, and things of that sort. Generally speaking it is moving in unison or in dynamic ways with another object outside or yourself. I am not yet super skilled in Flow Arts, though I have fantasies of becoming masterful with a staff and / or spinning fire. Going to festivals like Burning Man and seeing hundreds of coordinated fire spinners share their gift has left an indelible imprint of inspiration on my being. Personally, I love the game of “Peace Sticks,” invented by my friends in Ojai, California. It’s an interactive game that teaches you to be in the moment, and practice your “ninja skills.” Check it out @ www.Peacesticks.com
Related to Flow Arts is the unique and beautiful realm of Martial Arts. I am also not well versed in this area, though I have friends who’ve experienced profound healing and growth through traditions like Aikido and Tai Chi. I believe that learning how to combat with an opponent in a conscious way can be very powerful for enhancing the strength of your BodyMind System. Your body is far more durable and strong than you may think, but until you take a few hard punches or flips, you won’t realize it. The key is to do so in a safe setting with a skilled teacher, so that you do the moves correctly and don’t injure yourself.