Paddle board yoga resets reporter’s mindsetBy Bryanna Allen
STAFF WRITER | August 18,2014Anthony Edwards / Staff Photo
People take part in Stand Up Paddle Board yoga class on the Woodward Reservoir in Plymouth on Friday.I am a yogi. Or at least part yogi. And having spent an evening several weeks ago on a friend’s stand up paddle board I was excited for the class that combined the two.
Until I got locked out of my apartment. And dropped my phone in my oatmeal. And it started raining. The combination of negative variables had me dreading an evening working on my day off.
Dressed in an old lifeguard bathing suit, a long sleeved running shirt and hot pink spandex, my mood was instantly brightened when I carried the surprisingly light board into the surprisingly warm water.
My German friend Richard joined me for the class, having never tried yoga or SUP before, he tentatively followed close behind as we scrambled onto our boards. The class started with an introduction and an overview of basic paddling skills. The teacher, Karen Dalury, explained how to turn, stop and pull ourselves along efficiently with our paddles.
Although I was dutifully listening, learning and practicing, I couldn’t help but feel distracted by the simplicity of my surroundings. The water was warm, dark and calm, despite the light drizzle of rain and September-like crispness in the air. The trees on the shore were already showing hints of autumn. The air smelled fresh. Everyone was dressed in bright colors, a contrast to the backdrop of the water.
A day that had steadily gotten more stressful as the hours passed had suddenly become glorious, and I felt giddy with childish enthusiasm.
Yet I channeled my own inner quiet and focused on the class.
Moving from crow to downward dog required serious concentration — every muscle in my body was awake and aware. The slightest movement caused my board to tremble.
The rain drenched my hair and made my toes squeak against the board whenever I moved, but I was warm, sweating, even. I kept looking at Richard, who, as a German police officer, is more focused on being buff than being balanced. Yet somehow he managed to stay on the board the entire time, despite multiple near-capsizing moments.
The beauty of the water and balance of the poses made me feel mentally and physically strong. I was tuned in to my breathing and body. Karen kept the mood centered yet relaxed, open to questions, modifications and a little bit of play.
The highlight of the class was when I was successfully able to complete the “wheel” pose. Think bending backward all the way down until your hands and feet support you, your body arched like a bow, your belly toward the sky and your hair dangling into the board. It’s like crab-walking to the extreme.
I got in that pose, looked at the world from an upside-down on-a-paddle-board perspective and laughed.
Getting out of the pose was harder. Good thing the water was warm.
@Tagline:bryanna.allen @rutlandherald.comMORE IN Local & State
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.