Breathing In Bliss

Emily B is a graduate of Pavones Yoga Center’s 200 HR yoga teacher training who writes about how her experience at PYC is shaping her current life.

I began writing this as ode to the expansive beauty of the beach and how my time in Pavones revived my deep affection for it. I’ve spent weeks now attempting to express the way I feel for the beach and repeatedly found that my words could do no justice. Speechless in love. So I offer my experience.

Of course I love the beach, doesn’t everyone? It always just seemed obvious to me. I took my relationship and life long proximity to it for granted. As we become reacquainted, I ask myself these questions. What is it that I love about the beach? How does it affect me spiritually and emotionally? What is my connection to the ocean and what does it mean for who I am?

Pavones called my attention to the water principle; heated and healing, salty and fresh. Swimming, swirling, floating, surfing, splashing, playing; it felt so natural to me. For the first time, I consciously realized it was no accident that I was a competitive swimmer for 18 years. My affinity for the water expressed itself the only way it knew how to in cold oceaned Massachusetts where I grew up.

Santa Cruz persisted, awakening me to the wonders of the earth element. The sand; warm, soft, supportive. Laying sprawled out or curled up in it I feel safe and toasty. It molds perfectly to the curves of my body and provides complete nourishment as if embraced by the the warm breast of Mother Earth. And once I make my seat, grounded into each granule the blank canvas surrounding calls on me for design. The whole beach is my magic Etch-a-Sketch.

The sand is loyal from beach to beach, it’s always there for me but drifting whimsically through the salty shores in nothing but my bathing suit is my heaven on Earth. This tepid water is unique to southern beaches, the ultimate best. After the full moon, I plunged into the frosty Santa Cruz ocean and emerged completely revitalized with joy for the hot, soft sand that was there to receive me as I retreated. Balance. Sand and Sea.

Speaking of balance, Yoga on the beach adds a whole new dimension to my love. Beach yoga is like swimming with a drag suit. Wear more than one suit to practice and the speed sensations amplify when you race. Asanas on the beach have significantly improved my abilities in the studio. And it just feels so incredible. The give of the deep soft sand fills in the space where a prop may normally be needed, protecting my ankle injury and joints in general. The sand provides complete compensation. I feel supported, weightless and juicy. Everything is comfortable. Invigorating is the air, infused with negative ions, I breathe in bliss.

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