Look to the distance but not too far
If you only watch the wave coming at you, you can miss the cleaner one just behind. If you look too far to the distance you miss the wave entirely, always waiting for better, more, bigger. So depending on the sea, you have to look the right distance to see what’s coming up at the right time so you can react. In life if you look too far ahead you get lost in the massive amount of detail. If you don’t look far enough ahead you miss the very thing you were looking for as you’re not ready to act. Sure look to the horizon, sure look at the one you’re in, but keep aware of the middle ground – that’s where the action is. In your yoga don’t imagine where you’re going to much, nor where you’ve been, aim to get more present in the moment with a soft connection to where you’ve come from and where you want to go to.The cusp if life is now, enjoy it.
Start to love waiting
Surfing, especially on small days, requires a lot of patience. Waiting, just watching, bobbing around. You can stand your ground and wait, ready, or you can play. I dance, do yoga, sing, chat to the waves and do some splurgy movements that might be considered ‘level minus 3’ synchronised swimming moves. Waiting is really important. We have to do it in life a lot, waiting for the house we want, the bus to come, the love to come, the perfect break, the kids to hurry up, the toilet to be free. Surfing is a great way to learn how to love waiting. In yoga we have to learn to wait in the present. Maybe our body will loosen up, maybe we will get deeper into the pose, maybe we will do a more complex pose. Maybe you wont. Maybe you will do a pose that looks boring but feels awesome. Learn to love being where you are. Love the wait, the journey.
Breath out another wave will come
You’ve been in the water 20 minutes, there’s one nice wave every 15 minutes and then you miss it. It’s tempting to get annoyed, sad, frustrated – whatever. Just breath out. No more, no less. The waves come and go. In yoga we can do a pose and castigate ourselves for slipping, falling and being ungainly. Let it go. Another pose will come tomorrow. It might be better, it might be worse, but another pose will come.
Accept and relish the fluctuations
Waves come waves go, the breath comes in the breath goes out. The dance speeds up, the dance slows down. When there is no change there is dullness. Perfection has change integrated into it. Imagine perfection being fixed: same perfect house, weather, partner, breakfast, song, art – everything perfect, and everything the same every day. Bleuch. Movement is a necessity. So start to celebrate this.
Enjoy whatever comes, it’s all connected
It’s so damn obvious and so deep too. Each wave is connected to the one before, the one after. Your body needs to be all connected to be there. In yoga try to do it with your whole body. Avoid ‘a great hamstring stretch’ and enjoy a hamstring stretch while feeling great’. The difference is subtle, but very important. If you do yoga for one part of your body you will miss the whole experience. When you look to enjoy a pose you actually integrate the movement more, so your breath, shoulders, heart and feet are all alive in the pose as well.
So the next time you are not quite sure how to twist, turn or react. Come back to the waves of the ocean, your body and your breath. Come back to your body and breath out. Be really present, really listen, really honour the present moment and everything you are in it.