Bruce in kayak.

"We specialize in small group travel, which minimizes environmental impact, increases safety standards and allows for personalized, enriching and authentic experiences."

— Bruce Smith, founder and owner, Seascape Kayak Tours Inc.

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Union of earth, sea, sky and spiritApril 19th, 2009

Today’s blog comes from Laurice D. Nemetz, MA, ADTR, E-RYT, LCAT, who works as a yoga teacher and dance/movement therapist throughout Westchester County in New York. Lauri was the instructor on our recent El Espiritu del Mar, Seacape’s pilot yoga and paddling trip. We are planning future yoga and sea kayaking trips with her in both Canada (July) and Costa Rica (next January and May).

Palm practiceLAURI LEADS HER STUDENTS ON THE COSTA RICA PADDLING TRIP IN GENTLE PRACTICE UNDER THE PALM TREES AFTER KAYAKING.

 

Since returning to the states from Costa Rica, I’ve experienced hail in New York, hugged my boys countless times, have seen many, many students, worked in several therapeutic settings and led my college class of movement and anatomy students through the BODIES exhibit in NYC. 

 

As your guest blogger, I wanted to share a few of my reflections on the trip from the yogic perspective. Like Bruce, I never take for granted the work we get to do, or where we get to share that. As a yoga teacher just outside of the big city of New York, I am near lovely trees and the deep blue Hudson River, but I also spend quite a bit of time in the city itself, both teaching and taking classes. I have enjoyed many an inversion in the studios of New York, but I also enjoyed the experience of my own practice on the sandy shores of Costa Rica, looking at the ocean and sky together reversed.  

 

TEACHING YOGAAFTER A LONG PADDLE, LAURI GUIDES THE GROUP IN EXERCISES THAT WORK OPPOSING MUSCLES FROM THOSE USED IN KAYAKING.

 

When I teach yoga, I consider myself a guide. I share my knowledge and can point towards a path, but ultimately the work is self-initiated. Each person on this trip made such lovely positive changes and I believe that those changes ripple into all life. It is my privilege to teach yoga and share its wonderful gifts. The environment of Costa Rica allowed for this process to be quite deep and meaningful.

 

Kayaking is about connection as well. Whenever I am on the water I gain a sense of how small we are, but also how connected we are to everything else. That is the essence of yoga practice – the idea of union, of linking one thing to another. What we do to any other creature and to the environment matters deeply. When someone leaves a piece of trash, it may not seem like a large amount in the grand scheme of things, but that garbage can multiply and turn a beautiful beach into something else. However, I’m an optimist by nature, and I feel that while life isn’t always easy, our own ease can create something beautiful in an ocean far away.

 

HeadstandLAURI ENGAGING IN HER PRIVATE YOGA PRACTICE ON PLAYA QUESERA IN CURU WILDLIFE REFUGE, BASECAMP FOR THE PADDLING TRIP.

 

The Costa Rican days were full of brilliant sunshine, wildlife and colors, but I also enjoyed the Costa Rican nights. I loved watching the stars, so bright and beautiful, and the last morning of our camping, I woke up watching the stars before greeting the day with an extra early morning yoga practice. 

 

As many of you know, the constellation Orion, known as the Huntsman, is easy to spot in the evening sky, whether in New York, or far south in Costa Rica. For years, I carried a favorite poem about the constellation with me, a small part which l give to you here: 

 

The choice is always ours. Then, let me choose

The longest art, the hard Promethean way

Cherishingly to tend and feed and fan

That inward fire, whose small precarious flame,

Kindled or quenched, creates

The noble or the ignoble men we are,

The worlds we live in and the very fates,

Our bright or muddy star.

Up from among the emblems of the wind

Into its heart of power,

The Huntsman climbs, and all his living stars

Are bright, and all are mine.

From "Orion"

by Aldous Huxley, 1931

 

 

Shanti (Peace),

Lauri

 

 

 




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