A school of fish swim gracefully through the water, starfish and conchs rest along the coral and grass beds while the dolphins dance in the waves. This is sea life, the world beneath the one we know, a community connected at the most basic level but with such intricate detail. One that moves freely amongst the tides and waves.
As I ventured out on my stand-up paddleboard to take part in a morning SUP yoga practice, something caught my eye. Below the beautiful Caribbean waters, the sea creatures moved in a perfect harmony even amongst the moving water. They just went with the ebb and flows of the ocean, moving a bit closer to where they needed to be after each wave subsided. Even the slow moving starfish made progress, finding precious real estate on the grass bottom. It was like a dance, they moved with a rhythm with a purpose but in sync with the ocean.
After watching this magical display of patience and peace, I began to practice, but with a new take. As the waves rocked my board from side to side I just went with the ocean, moved with its power. My breath began to sink with the waves, inhaling on the rise, exhaling on the fall and suddenly I found myself comfortable and at peace in something from the far looks chaotic.
Mirroring the sea life's ability to adapt to any condition, I let down the walls of what I needed and let the ocean be my guide, my teacher. When the waves rested I flowed, when they moved I grounded and my practice took on a life of its own.
My mind stayed with the flow of the ocean, leaving the to-do lists and tasks that were undone alone and being on a board on the water while I danced to the music of the ocean.
The time came to surrender to all that was around and enter into the place of reset and rest, Savasana. With the ocean leading me, I began to let go of the worries, am I going to drift away, what if a big wave comes, it all drifted away while trust-filled in. Laying on my board with the mind quiet, the eyes soft and a smile cast upon my face the only thought that entered was peace. I was where I was supposed to be and everything was perfect.
Paddling has allowed me to see nature in a new light. However this last experience taught me that nature is one of our greatest teachers; however, we must be ready to listen and learn. No matter where we are in the world, there is something bigger and ready to teach us and this is where growth happens.
Photo: Jeramie Vaine