Yoga Fusions Part 3 – Paddleboards At The Ready…
Today we’re continuing on the journey that started a few weeks ago with Yoga Fusions Part 1 (Toilet Yoga) and continued last week with Yoga Fusions Part 2 – Food, Smell, Style and more….
It’s been fun because the more we started digging the more we found. For example have you ever thought of testing your balance out to the limits by performing your yoga routine…on a paddle board? Well we hadn’t But that doesn’t mean that others missed a trick as The New York Times reports:
Guests of the Aruba Marriott Resort can enroll in floating yoga classes in which students use stand-up paddleboards as platforms for downward dog and table top positions. Ninety-minute classes cost $40 and include 5 to 10 minutes of warm-up paddling.
Adventure sports companies in Miami and California and even a resort in Montauk, N.Y., have recently advertised classes. But it is rare for a Caribbean resort.
The instructor, Rachel Brathen, says even practiced yogis fall off the board, which is anchored in hip-deep water for safety.
“To be outside and all you see is the blue sky and the water, it’s incredibly serene and it forces you to stay focused to keep your balance,” Ms. Brathen said. “You can’t think about what you’re having for dinner or the fight with your boyfriend.”
When we’ve spoken to people about this it has evoked either one of two reactions. a) That sounds like fun! or b) That’s just not yoga! Our thinking. If no-one’s getting hurt and people are benefiting from the experience then what’s the harm?
Like the sound of an extreme sport yoga fusion but not a fan of the water. Well how about a bit of Snowga for you then as Fox News reports:
The idea of snowga was developed by Anne Anderson a certified ski and yoga instructor. The 90-minute class offered at Mohawk Mountain in Connecticut teaches you how to improve your skills on the slopes by incorporating yoga principles like meditation, breathing techniques and stretching poses.
Again, not traditional or ‘purist’ but really what’s the harm?
You see, there are certain practices that allow people to experience the benefits of yoga that otherwise could not. Take Chair Yoga for example as Melbourne Weekly reports:
It’s a Wednesday morning at Mitcham Community House and a group of women are stiking a pose. Urged on by instructor Debra Morgan, they stretch and bend with intense concentration. But this is no ordinary exercise class.
In its second term, chair yoga at the community house is gaining popularity with folks both young and old. ‘‘It’s perfect for people with mobility issues, because unlike traditional yoga where there is a lot of huffing and puffing – just from lifting off the yoga mat – chair yoga is seated,’’ says Morgan.
Morgan says participants are often surprised about how much they can achieve on a chair. ‘‘I’ve never worked harder in a yoga class,” she says. “Some people actually prefer it,’’ she says.
As evidence she points to the recovery of one of her students. ‘‘It was a lady who couldn’t even walk particularly well when she first started, but after chair yoga her mobility has changed, her posture has improved and she walks more easily.’’
According to Morgan, almost any traditional yoga position can be modified to suit a chair. And the benefits are just as plentiful. Chair yoga can increase flexibility, mobility and strength, as well as balance the mind and body, she says.
‘‘The idea of the whole class is moving meditation. Stay mindful, don’t let the mind wander outside the class, you don’t worry about your problems here. It teaches people how to relax the mind.
‘‘People think yoga is just about stretching but it’s also about the whole package, it’s about health and wellbeing.’’
Again it’s another example of a strictly non-traditional yoga fusion that benefiting it’s participants. Another ‘perfect-paring’ is the combination of Music & Yoga as Cat O’Connor of Mind Body Green writes:
I think I would be hard-pressed to find someone that hasn’t had at least one experience of the healing power of music, whether simply being lifted out of a bad mood by hearing a favourite song or something more profound like hearing the Ave Maria sung at a funeral and truly feeling in your bones the presence of something bigger than yourself.
Music and yoga both provide healing and therapy for undefined and most often unseen ailments. So it stands to reason that bringing these two therapies together has the potential for creating a pretty powerful experience.
I love creating a musical experience to coincide with my yoga classes, and though music without lyrics is often important to maintain an insular state during your practice, I also find that lyrical music can create a deep sense of community, of reflection, or of awareness, depending on the postures, the intention and the flow of the class.
Her current top ten yoga music artists are listed in the article. Plus if your looking to try this out you can find some free music provided by Anmol Mehta here.
So aside from the fun factor why have we been highlighting these yoga fusions over the last few weeks?
Well, particularly in light of recent shockers and scandles yoga’s getting a bit of a bad press from the media and it’s getting a serious condemnation from the purists.
That’s fair enough. That could turn out to be a good movement that will change yoga for the better. We believe it will. But it has to be directed at the elements that are truly the negative influences in the yoga world and we don’t see how a yoga fusion can been seen as one of these negative influences.
What are the negative factors? Well that conversation is for another time.
See you soon.