While rowing, swimming and walking are great opportunities to get exercise while at anchor or ashore, a yoga practice can also be done while underway. A yoga practice will include asanas or postures that improve flexibility of the spine and joints and strengthen the body’s muscles, glands and inner organs. What is often overlooked is that when these asanas are combined with pranayama (yogic breathing exercises), meditation and deep relaxation then the whole body mind
and soul are benefited. The gentle movements help us to overcome fear, develop trust and find inner peace.
So why don’t we all practice everyday?
When we first moved aboard Yofy our 30 foot sailboat, I just couldn’t see how I was going to have a daily yoga practice in such a small space. Over time I began to realize that what I needed to do was to adapt my practice. Later I found myself in yoga classes alongside another liveaboard cruiser. This woman told me how the yogic breathing exercises and relaxation techniques had helped her cope with stress during Red Sea passages. Last summer onboard Ellen my yoga practice helped me fend off fatigue and keep my temper cool during the frustrations of bad weather and the odd disagreement within the crew.
Yoga asanas are suitable for anyone and as yoga gains popularity in the west; new websites are addressing the question of how to adapt your asana practice to the available space on your boat. When at anchor, or in a marina little effort is required to pick up your mat and find a shore side space to practice.
Last week I came across Yair Keshet on YouTube. Yair is both a sailor and a yoga instructor living in Tel Aviv Israel. His videos show how he has overcome his life’s challenges to adapt a yoga practice. These videos are an inspiration for all of us who may feel that for whatever reason we can’t practice yoga.