One of my favorite variations on yoga is a water practice in my backyard pool. A few times each summer I’ll schedule a group practice for a little fun in the sun.
We begin with mindfulness of sunlight and water, the serenade of cicadas, your hands outstretched to the blue sky. We turn to the wall for aquatic sun salutations, keeping our downward dogs just above the surface. The buoyancy of the water allows for a deeper warrior series. And you’ll love your half-moon in the pool.
We get creative with swim noodles, using them for arms, abs, and balance. If we’re all feeling playful, I love to create a whirlpool and then reverse it. Meditation is afloat, and I love to see the stillness of the water with everyone enjoying a moment of bliss. The hot tub is the cherry on top of the practice.
If you’ve read this far into the post because you’re considering attending an upcoming practice, here’s what you need to know. Come around the side gate into the backyard. Feel free to change in and out of your swimsuit here. You’ll only need sunscreen if our practice is early: my pool’s mostly shaded by 4pm. You’ll want a towel, and if you have a swim noodle, please bring it along. I have several. I’ll have ice in the coolers if you want to stash any beverages for after our practice too;) And you can see from the picture above that my pool will max out at about 12 for water yoga, so please RSVP via email and I’ll send you the address. I’ll have a box by the water for your $10 class fee. I hope you can join in the fun!
I came into her life to keep her calm and grounded, especially for her travels, but also for home. Our relationship was intermittent at first, she only using me occasionally, preferring my thicker sister she needed at work. But we would meet in her home office, when she had been sitting long hours at the computer and needed to break from that digital world. She could hear herself again when I was there, a sounding board for feet, hands, knees, and forehead. I have felt her grip, her sweat, the tremor of her muscles. I gave her the courage to venture out.
I went with her to New York City, stretching out beside a Brooklyn fire fighter who was excited to share his practice. I drove with her through the Alleghenies and supported her efforts to calm a chapter of sorority girls. I’ve gone to beach houses up and down the east coast, providing a quiet balance, a sanctuary from too much family togetherness. She has used me and neglected me, leaving me helplessly covered in cat hair.
Recently I flew with her on a plane to California. She laid herself over me and I felt the jumbled energy in her mind, hope and doubt in an awkward, rhythmless dance. She laid me in the dust of a dozen studios and she searched for her tribe in this new territory. She used me to ground her writing at the makeshift standing desk, trying to stay connected to her own energy while she wrote about violence and evil.
And now she has unrolled me in the desert, grinding sand into me as she reached for the brilliant tangerine sunset. I know it was my presence that gave her the cool curiosity to watch a giant spider head out for the evening after a day in his desert grass web. Ancient energy pulled up from deep beneath me, passing right through me and into her feet, shooting through her fingers into the deepening blue. Together we create an antenna, sending and receiving energy in the universe.