I am hanging in a nestle of trees right beside a spring-fed lake just 20 minutes from downtown Houston. 288 Lake, an oasis only minutes from the city, is one of my favorite hammock spots. Not only because it’s away from the bustle of cars and the view of the water is as blue as my Kammok hammock, but also because it consists of my favorite water activity…stand-up paddle board (SUP) yoga!
This weekend I fully “submerged” myself in the practice, by participating in the BIG SUP Yoga Teacher Training Program. I am now certified to teach yoga on water! This is my third season of SUP yoga I have been a part of. From participant, to shore support volunteer, two SUP Yoga retreats, and now teacher, I’ve come a long way in the yoga and now SUP yoga world…and it’s only the beginning.
At the training this past weekend, the group of 21 eager yoga teachers learned how to make and set anchor lines for the boards, paddling techniques, water safety rescue, and the different ways of cueing yoga poses on the board, with the guidance of the most badass crew of leaders. It’s a totally different experience from land yoga, because you’re constantly challenging your balance by attempting poses that don’t seem as difficult on your mat. For example, Warrior 2 is one of the hardest poses in my opinion, because your front heel and back arch are in line with one another and your hips are facing the side. Seems simple on land, but try doing that when there’s water moving underneath you!
That means falling in the water is inevitable, even for an experienced yogi like me. One of the greatest lessons I learned this weekend is to be fearless when it comes to trying new things and falling, and that can actually be the best part! I feel like a completely new practitioner on the SUP board, which is why I love SUP yoga so much. It takes your practice to an entirely different level and you have the opportunity to let go of what you know and be in the present moment outside on the water. You hear all the sounds of nature and see a whole new side of the shore line when you’re upside down in down dog and many other poses!
The practice of SUP yoga, and yoga on land for that matter, has really taught me to take my practice off the mat and into my life. Faced with challenges in the studio such as breathing and keeping my focus on one point in a difficult pose, or getting over the resistance and flipping my dog off the board into the water, has in return taught me to get outside of my comfort zone and truly aim for what I want in life.
Which is why I’m thrilled to announce my next big adventure! Beginning June 1, I will be embarking on a series of summer traveling experiences which involve a road trip to the Northeast part of the country, teaching yoga and backpacking in Central America. These are places I have dreamed of going and something I have dreamed of doing for so long, and it’s happening now because I believe in myself and my ambitions.
Everywhere I set up my hammock, I’ll be documenting where I’m at and what I’m doing. If you don’t already, follow this blog now to stay tuned to my very near-future adventures.