Hi all! Please welcome Whole Life Yoga teacher training graduate and Whole Life Yoga instructor Roxie Dufour to the Whole Life blog today. Roxie can be contacted at YogaRoxSeattle@gmail.com. Roxie will always hold the honor of being the yoga student I saw get married in a kayak. It’s only natural that she should combine teaching yoga with her favorite pastime. Roxie, please share!
How Did I Spend My Weekend?
Answer: Combining my favorite things!
Over the weekend, my husband Dave and I assisted in the Washington Kayak Club Basic Sea Kayak Class at Deception Pass. Yes, we are the kayakers under the bridge in the swirly waters, 28 students, and 9 instructors. The best way to describe it is going to camp with your kayak. I was asked to squeeze in a ‘brief’ yoga class. I knew the students needed to warm up shoulders, neck and hips, side body stretching, and lots of torso rotation for paddling, calming anxieties and tension, and to invite balance, integrate left/right movements. In any yoga class, there are adaptations and options to incorporate factors. Some students have never been in a kayak or taken a yoga class.
No pressure, right?
Tapping on the Viniyoga lineage, Tracy Weber’s teachings, meeting the students where they were, and from experience…keeping it simple was my plan. Did I mention, we were at the beach, wearing dry suits, PFDs, and dressed ready for immersion?
The sequencing was simple with about seven postures, all standing, because dry suits are expensive. Connecting simple movements to the breath impacts the autonomic nervous system and increases circulation. I visualized the student’s shortened breath patterns, muscle tension, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. I was nervous, too. Having students recognize where they are and accept that place with compassion is important to any student, anxious kayakers included.
My reward was seeing shoulders relax, smiles, sighs of relief, thank yous, and “When do we get wet?”
Whether you are on the mat or heading to your kayak, yoga is a positive piece of the day, keep it simple.
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, learn about our Yoga Alliance Registered yoga teacher training program, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.