Monday, February 1, 2010

Tide Chart

Living on the ocean, we pay attention to tides. At low tide the tops of coral heads are often visible above water. In some areas, normally passable channels must be navigated with more care to avoid ‘polishing’ a boat’s propeller. As the tide goes out and the water recedes more beach is exposed. Walking is easier and (yippee) beach-combing often more productive.

Low tide is the smooth jazz station on your radio.

Wait a few hours, then plug in the amps and electric guitars. At high tide, the ocean jams with energy. Waves roar, sand shifts and (sorry) rocks roll. It can get risky out there—last week our dinghy was wrenched off its mooring and dropped undamaged on the beach a hundred yards away—but it’s never boring. (Grab a lifejacket, Kenny G.)

The Maori people of New Zealand have long followed the rhythm of the ocean, respecting the natural ebb and flow of life’s energy. Times of reflection, whether voluntary or due to illness, setbacks or crises allow us to rest, become quiet and heal. Then, crank up the volume. We’re once again ready to dance—sometimes wildly!—fully awake, revived and restored.

Yin yoga is a beautiful way to embody your low-tide cycles. Deep, gentle stretches held for longer periods of time honor your need to move slowly and thoughtfully. An energetic vinyasa flow sequence encourages, and then celebrates your return to lively living with heat and power.

We can’t change the tides. But we can pay attention, matching our practice of yoga to the rhythm of our lives.

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