|Chris Potako, Flickr|
It's "Yoga on the deck night". For some 10 weeks, we have been meeting T, our yoga instructor, at the end of a long serpentine path in the woods. Every Monday we have been unrolling our yoga mats on a deck by the water for an hour and a half of strength, balance and flexibility (both physical and mental). Every week we push ourselves to our limits as we move through postures, then we find our stillness as we pause and observe.
Yoga has always been a gift and a blessing, but doing it outdoors maximizes the benefits. The view of the lake, of the trees, of the sky. The lapping water. The occasional loon. The scents of the forest. After shavasana, reopening your eyes to a ceiling of green leaves.
For our last class of the summer, T has planned a practice not on the deck, but on the floating dock. As soon as we set foot on it, we realize what we signed up for. It is wobbly to walk on. Never mind trying to keep your balance as you do yoga postures! The tree pose, which has always been my specialty, suddenly takes a whole other meaning. The crow pose, which I'm proud to say I master pretty well, becomes almost impossible to hold for more than 3 seconds. And you don't want to fall. For if you do, it's in the water you're going.
T tells us it's nothing. Earlier in the day, she was practicing her headstands on a surfboard!!! She shows us pictures on her phone as proof. We have nothing to complain about.
Call me when you've done that on a floating surfboard
|Pasco Olivier, Flickr|
Speaking of water, it contains its own elements of distraction. The fish (that jump out to catch their supper of insects). The frogs (that hop from lilypad to lilypad). The ducks (calling other ducks).
Then there's the sky. As the sun goes down it paints it in layers of pink, orange and yellow. While upside down I notice the same stripes of color reflected on the water. It's beautiful.
We finally lie down for shavasana. For the first moments, I keep my eyes opened. I am looking straight up when pop! the first star of the night suddenly appears, big and shiny.
I close my eyes. Time stops. There isn't a sound. With the sunset, the lake has become entirely quiet and still. All I can feel and hear is my own gentle breathing.
I don't know how long it lasts. When I reopen my eyes, it is dark all around. We slowly get up, roll our mats, and walk our way back.