Yoga, Running, Crossfit, Tennis, Mountain Biking, Pilates, Personal Training, Surfing…and a Dream

Featured image is of Limited Edition Lokai Shark Week Bracelet

I am a complete goal oriented or competition oriented person, but I have always struggled with finding a workout or sport that I could stick with for a long time. Most of the time, I would move around sports or workouts regiments because I needed to make a life choice.

When I was little I was active in terms of mountain biking, roller blading, jump rope or Skip It, but I was never inclined to do a team sport. When I found tennis at around the age of 12, mainly because my grandmother played the sport, I was in love because it was finally something I could play on my own. I had dreams of being the best Tennis player, watched all the Tennis sporting events, but those dreams were short lived when I entered high school and found theater instead, and I had to make a choice between the two.

I watched an interesting documentary on Netflix called “Fittest on Earth”. It’s about the Reebok Crossfit Games and how hard these individuals work to get there. While I watched this documentary in utter amazement of what these individuals could do, I couldn’t help remember my journey through Crossfit. When I started working out, I remember that feeling of I wanted to be the best Crossfitter ever! I had that drive to win every workout as well. But this love for Crossfit was also short lived.  It literally lasted six months, and I was unhappy with my physique, so I went back to more cardio and yoga.

Just recently, I was practicing yoga and I couldn’t hold up my arms in Warrior II. Now, this is not normal for me whatsoever. My shoulders were achy, tired and my body was worn out. I had the same thoughts in my head like I did when I was younger: I’m going to have to make a choice between Yoga and Surfing. The yoga instructor saw how I was struggling with my shoulders, and she decided to put us in a Criss-Cross pose, which felt amazing for tight shoulders.

While I was lying there, I thought, I don’t have to choose between yoga and surfing. I just have to accept the fact that some yoga practices are going to be harder because of surfing and vice versa. I’m not practicing or training for a competition, I practice yoga and surf because it releases stress and brings balance to my life.

Readers, I would love to know what sports and workout regiments you have gone through in your life?

Namaste

~Scrappy Yogi

Ocean Waves and Yogi Surfing

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My first surfboard arrived yesterday. I was giddy with excitement and amazed with the beauty of the board. This is going to be the surfboard where I really learn the art of surfing. I had the same excitement when I bought my first yoga mat years ago. That mat will always hold a special place in my heard because it’s where I became a “yogi”.

This morning was my first adventure with my new surfboard. When my fiance and I ran into the water and I got onto the new board, I immediately tipped to the left. Then I started to panic and tipped to the right, placing my feet into the water, which is a big mistake. I was incredibly unbalanced and didn’t know what to do. I had a similar experience with my first ever yoga class. I was middle of class and I couldn’t get into Tree Pose without falling over. I would tip to the right or the left and completely fall. I took a minute to myself on my new surfboard, and thought,” What do I do in yoga when I’m unbalanced?  What do I do in Tree Pose to ground downward? I engage my core, look forward and breathe through it.”

I composed myself and started to breathe. It was then that I finally gained control of the board. It was the first time I was able to tell myself that I can do this. I started to paddle around the ocean and I even caught a wave, which was exhilarating and mind blowing at the same time. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the breath or my yoga training.

I wouldn’t label myself a “surfer” yet, but I definitely feel like a “yogi” surfing in the water.

Readers, I would love to know if you label yourself in yoga or any other sport? What constitutes a label for you?

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

 

Yoga on the Beach

Let me set the stage . The sun is setting, the ocean waves are calm, and a yogi is able to practice headstand on the perfectly manicured sand. We have all seen this yoga picture, but has anyone really ever tried to practice yoga on the beach? Well, today I did.

The yoga class required the same materials as in a studio: yoga mat, water and a towel. The only question I had in my head was where are we actually going to practice? I’m pretty new to beach life and never spent that much time at the ocean as a kid, so I didn’t know what to expect.

When I arrived at the beach, I was surprised to find out you needed to hike down to the sand bed. A couple other yogis and I started the descent to the sand bed, helping each other through the jagged rocks. This was a great way to start class since there was already a sense of community through hiking.

As we walked on the sand, the instructor arrived and pointed us to a harder sand area, which basically means the sand was wet to create a harder surface. She wanted us to face the ocean as well, which was such a beautiful view (pic of view at the top). Why wouldn’t you practice yoga toward the ocean?

Then the instructor stated something strange. She said “You don’t have to use your yoga mat if you don’t want to. Be open to new experiences”. I took this as my cue to ditch my yoga mat. So there I was, sitting on the cold sand, next to seaweed, and looking toward the ocean.

We started with Sun Salutations, which I thought was a beautiful beginning since it was early morning and we were at the beach. As I went to go do my first Chaturanga, the realization hit that I was on sand. I needed to bury my hands and press harder into my palms to complete the pose. Then I thought, this is going to be hard. We immediately went back to Downward Facing Dog, and my hands slipped. I had to engage my core stronger than I ever had before to complete this pose.

After completing the Sun Salutations, I got into a groove with my practice. My reactions of “this is hard” melted away, and I completely forgot I was practicing on sand. I had to let go of every expectation and just be immersed in the experience.

This practice was truly beautiful and magical. Readers, would love to know if you have ever tried yoga on the beach? Or, have you worked out on the beach?

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

 

How Yoga Has Prepared Me For Surfing

Yoga has been part of my life for a long time. It’s a practice that I bring everywhere with me, whether it’s traveling for work or living in a new city. Whenever I have to pick up a class at a new studio or practice on my own, there is no hesitation since yoga is something I know.

Recently, my fiance S. has wanted to give surfing a try. We live in California, so it’s not out of the norm for him to want to try surfing. Here’s the kicker; he wants me to try as well. At first I was excited to try something new, but then hesitation set in. How am I going to possibly surf? Don’t I need a bunch of stuff to surf? Wetsuit? Board? Wax? What size board do I need?

While I processed all of things I needed to surf, I thought about the  first time I decided to try yoga. I had the same reaction: don’t I need a bunch of stuff for yoga? Well, the answer is yes: you need a mat, clothes and a water bottle. And since I wanted to practice yoga badly enough, I bought what I needed to be successful in learning yoga.

As I reflected on my first yoga experiences, I thought how yoga has prepared me for surfing. I already know how to take the necessary steps to start a new sport. And yes, I need to buy a wetsuit, board and wax, but that is not any different from what products you need in yoga.

So today I took the first step: I bought a wetsuit.

Readers, has yoga or any other sport ever prepared you for another sport?

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi