OK, first of all, I don’t really talk like that. But that’s the only way I could express both the delight and the fear I had in my first SUP yoga class…
I spent both Saturday and Sunday afternoons at my favorite beach for hanging out and socializing – Cane Garden Bay. Saturday was a low-key visit: read, float, have a drink. I’d heard there was a Stand Up Paddleboard yoga class at CGB, so I asked around and found out that there was a FREE class on Sunday. So on Sunday afternoon, I trekked back to CGB (20 minutes from our apartment to the neighborhood, 25 minutes parked and in the water). It didn’t take long to spot the teacher, as she was finishing up a SUP class for about a dozen kids – and I might add that these kids looked like professionals.
I’ve done presentations in front of hundreds of people – CEO’s, executives, people way smarter than I am. But for some reason, trying a new physical activity for the first time scares the daylights out of me. In my first golf lesson, I was so nervous that it’s a miracle I didn’t drop the club behind my back when I took the first swing. And it wasn’t much different in the SUP yoga class. I had only been on a paddle board once before, and all I accomplished that time was to paddle out a few yards, quickly give up fighting the wind, drift down the beach a few hundred feet, and paddle back to the shore. Then I had to carry the board back up the beach to where it belonged.
So, yeah, I was nervous about this class.
The teacher instructed me to paddle out on my knees, and she would come right behind me to help me get my “sea legs” and get going. But she got caught up with something else, and I was left there, on my knees on the board, paddling as best I could and trying to listen to her partner, who was yelling standing near the shore yelling instructions at me. And the wind was blowing the opposite way of where the group was gathered…
Ten minutes later, with some direct intervention from the helper (i.e. he paddled out and literally pulled me and my board in the right direction), I joined the group. This is where the OMG part really begins.
I made it through the warmup and the Sun Salutations ok, despite the fact that my legs were shaking like twigs in a hurricane. Then came the Crescent Lunges and the Warriors. The instructor had warned me that Warrior II was a tough pose to do on the board. Whew, I made it through that, although I couldn’t properly do Reverse Warrior, but I modified. Then came Side Angle. An easy pose. I can even “fly” in this one. (“Flying” is where you bind your arms around one leg and lift it up while balancing on the other leg – called Bird of Paradise).
And fly I did. Right off the side of my board and into the water. (And I wasn’t even trying to do the Bird of Paradise variation. I was just trying to do the basic Side Angle!)
I shook myself off like a wet dog, climbed back onto the board, and finished the class, legs shaking even more now. But I finished, and I even managed to do a Tripod at the end (squat down with your hands on the ground/floor/board, put the top of your head on the board, put your knees on your elbows and lift your feet).
At the end of class, as I lay there in Savasana (also called Corpse Pose, where you lie on your back with legs apart and arms by your side), instead of closing my eyes, I looked up at the blue sky and the tip tops of the palm trees in my peripheral vision and felt grateful to be in such an amazing place, doing such amazing things. This. This is the reason I wanted to move here.