For several months now I have been toying with the idea of having my own daily yoga routine apart from the evening Green Yoga sessions I attend at The Sanctuary in Roche Caiman. However, exercise at home in the confines of four walls, or without an instructor to guide and motivate during the session can be incredibly uninspiring.
Finally, with the desire to change old habits and live healthier I decided to put aside my bashful feelings of exercising out in public and try practicing yoga at sunrise by the beach down the road from my house. I expected no more than a self righteous feel-good factor but in the last couple of weeks I have been pleasantly surprised by the many benefits that have so far come from my communion with nature, as it were.
On my first trip down the beach I quickly discovered that without my yoga mat (which I must admit I am still reluctant to lug down the road), it is a little tricky to perform yoga poses on the loose sandy surface. So after a few sun salutations, I decided on a power walk. A power walk that on the next day turned into a slow jog and has now confidently transformed into a fast paced jog. I pat myself on the back aware that the last time I did any kind of running was in primary school many years ago.
Running along the beach, it is impossible to ignore the waves lapping over the beach. Although the tide is low, I have to be careful along certain stretches not to have my new trainers drenched in salty water. Inadvertently, I find myself mesmerized by the rhythm of the waves and so I decide to incorporate a few minutes of meditation after my run, while watching the waves. I begin to notice added vitality and serenity in my day; added energy and focus in performing tasks and calmness in dealing with difficult situations. One morning seated in the lotus pose contemplating the sunrise, I laugh out loud at myself, having underestimated the reach of the waves as I suddenly get drenched up to my waist.
I have an array of recorded guided meditations but not wanting to carry any gadgets out to the beach for fear of having them ruined by water and also wanting to detach, if only for a short while from technology, I opt to seek guidance from Thich Nht Hanh‘s book, The Miracle of Mindfulness on breath exercises that I can use in my meditation, much like at the end of our green yoga sessions. Through the breathing exercises I am more focused in the present moment and my mind wanders less into the past or the future.
Then there’s the ghost crabs that scuttle away into their holes or dive headfirst into the sea as I approach. And the melodious cacophony of birdsong to remind me of the charming gift of dawn in paradise. It is easy to take for granted the beauty of a sunrise, but what an amazing experience to start the day in awe of nature.