Healing Oceans

yoga teacher training Costa Rica
Emily B is a graduate of Pavones Yoga Center’s 200-hour yoga teacher training and a regular contributor to The Salty Dog. She currently lives in Santa Cruz, California with her dog, Dende.

The beach in Pavones is pretty tough to match. Crystal clear, tepid in temperature, deliciously salty and virtually seaweed-less, it set a lofty standard as far as beaches go. To my surprise, I began to feel a strong pull to go into the Ocean here in Santa Cruz this month. I had previously dismissed the option entirely declaring that under no circumstances would I subject myself to that bitter muddled water. How could I…after the bliss of casually floating around in Pavones? I was convinced it would be nothing but disappointing. And though I knew in my heart that flushing into the healing waters was right and true for me, I didn’t take the plunge (pun intended) until I received a beautiful confirmation message from my Angels that it would be to my great benefit. It was time to give myself permission, and now, it has become at least a once weekly practice of invigorating restoration!

Part of the same Pacific family yes, but Santa Cruz’s ocean is like Pavones’ dirty drunk uncle with an astonishingly redeeming sense of humor. Colossal mazes of seaweed avalanche in with the thrashing waves and coalesce into stinky sculptures along the shoreline. Land minds of kelp, branches and hodgepodge jut out from the beach floor, the water color is far from luminescent, tides are unpredictable and the degrees barely breach 55. Yet despite all of this, if you choose to surrender and submerge you are deeply rewarded. A long leisurely puppy paddle is certainly not an option unless you are equipped with a wetsuit, booties and a hood, but a quick dip is all that’s necessary to feel totally rejuvenated and cleansed emerging a new and better person.

Building courage I wade along the seaside until something inside me snaps, that “go now!” moment hits me head on and I’m suddenly hurdling into the oncoming surf. Peeking back I see Dende in a flurry of confusion, wanting to follow but knowing the strength of the Ocean would instantly overtake him. I press on, breathing deeply and searching for the perfect juncture to dunk my entire being into the healing liquid.

As quickly as I entered, I’m scampering back out my face plastered with a smile from ear to ear. Dende is eager to greet me and we indulge in playful wiggles, leaps and bounds up and down the shore. An infinite pool of joy and excitement has been awakened inside me and I know I have connected with the Divine. My whole perception has been altered, the air feels soothing and warm,  and as it dries me I can feel the salt extracting toxins from my body. But of course! Isn’t it always the harder things in life that offer the most reward and valuable lessons? Thanks for making me smile dirty drunk hilariously amazing Santa Cruz Ocean. I’m sorry I judged you so harshly, I guess the joke’s on me!

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