Gratitude is the best Medicine. It Heals your Mind, Your Body, Your Spirit and Attracts More things to be Grateful for.
Standup Paddling and SUP Yoga are two practices that naturally connect us to gratitude and abundance. Being immersed in Nature we are gifted with a constant stream of animals, plants, the movement of the water and the elements. We can't help but be great-ful. Challenging our bodies physically and developing fluid strength shows us our strength and potential. So most times when we are on the water, we connect easily to gratitude and joy.
But when we are going through tough times in life, when feeling the heaviness of the world ~ losing a job, suffering through heartbreak, struggling with anxiety and depression ~ well then it's not so easy to connect to gratitude. And when we disconnect from gratitude, when we get caught up in the swirlings of our mind and emotions, well then we loose our connection to Nature, to Water, to our Practice. Which as any paddler knows, takes the fun out of the sport and can even be dangerous if it takes away from our concentration too much.
So how do we reconnect to gratitude in tough times? How can we use Standup Paddling and SUP Yoga to help us heal and reconnect?
1) Turn your paddle experience into a ritual. Ritual is simply a sacred energy that we can bring to any activity we engage in. So from start to finish, make each step meaningful to you. Keep your rack area neat and organized and maybe strategically place a few stickers or posters from your favorite boarders or brands to keep you inspired. When you first arrive at your launch, instead of rushing out of the car and quickly dismounting your board and launching, take your time. Pause, look at the water, look up at the sky, take a deep breath. Infuse each moment of your paddle out with reverence and connection and you will quickly be drawn back into connection with the healing, inspiring energies of Water and Nature and the True Light within us.
2) As you paddle, or practice yoga on your board, really feel the movement of your body and breath as your board glides through the water. Start to pay attention to your cadence as your paddle plays with the water, or your breath as your body folds and unfolds on your board. Start to fall in awe with the amazingness of the physicality of the experience. Feel grateful for all you can experience.
3) Develop a routine that includes paddling and nature on a weekly if not daily basis. Routines help us form healthy habits so we have positive ways to cope with stress and strain. If you can get outside each day (or week) and soak in some vitamin D, fresh air, move your muscles, you release natural endorphins, and you create space for the tension to leave your body and mind, and answers to naturally come to you.
To help us all develop positive routines and habits grounded in gratitude, this November, as I have done for the past seven years I am inviting my friends and community to join me as we share our gratitude for all things big and small. Take time to jot it down, whether in a journal or in a more public form. When we take the time each day to express our gratitude and reflect upon it, we start to nourish it, allowing it to grow and fill us with liquid gold of peace, love and hope. We start to really see all the blessings we already have. To acknowledge the gifts our challenges truly represent. We feed the good we have with energy and attention and allow it to organically fill and uplift us and prepare us for even greater things to come.
Your gratitude practice doesn't have to be directly rooted in paddling but of course if you can find ways to incorporate paddling, water and nature into your practice, even better!
I am honored that the NJ Yoga Collective has teamed up with our very own Flow Paddle Yoga to turn this invitation into a practice we can share far and wide. Together we can connect to gratitude and uplift our spirits and uplevel our outlook on life.
Enter to win a free week of yoga at one of our 22 participating studios join our online Sharing Immersion via Facebook or Instagram by joining.
Details at NJ Yoga Collective
- Jiva Hot Yoga in Fords, NJ
- Ohana Rising Yoga School in Ocean Grove, NJ
- Jersey Shore Hot Yoga in Avon by the Sea, NJ
- Bee You Kids Yoga, Manasquan, NJ
- Yoga Peace Kula in Belmar and Howell, NJ
- Synergy Hot Yoga in Fair Haven, NJ
- Honor Yoga, East Brunswick, NJ
- Inlet Yoga, Manasquan, NJ
- Monmouth Beach Yoga in Monmouth Beach, NJ
- Hot or Not Yoga in Manahawkin, NJ (donating a full month of yoga!)
- Bask Hot Yoga, Brick and Jackson, NJ
- Pearl Yoga, Keyport, NJ
- Yoga + Herbs, Englishtown, NJ
- Tula Yoga, Long Branch and Aberdeen, NJ
- Powerflow Yoga in Asbury Park, NJ
- Selfless Love Yoga, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
- Kur Wellness Studios, Asbury Park, NJ
- Drishti Power Yoga, Sea Girt (giving an intro month to one new student and a bMat!)
- Evenflow Yoga, Red Bank, NJ
- POE Yoga, Fair Haven, NJ
- Yoga Essence, New Providence and Lebanon, NJ
- AB Fitness, Sea Bright, NJ