Monday, July 21, 2008

Zen and Surfing

I went to Bikram Yoga again on Saturday morning. Since the class starts at 9am, I woke at 7am and ate breakfast then (you aren't supposed to eat anything right before class). The class was very refreshing, although I felt again like I was nauseous during Half Tortoise pose. If it happens again when I go to class this Thursday, I am going to ask the teacher what is up, because this has never happened before.

I went surfing for the first time yesterday. It was such a beautiful day, and my friends and I woke up early and drove to a beach in Rhode Island. When I was young, I got stung by a jellyfish while wading in the ocean water, and I really hadn't gotten back in the water since because the experience just turned me off. However, I have always wanted to surf, and learning to surf means getting back into the ocean. So I sucked it up and got over my fear. I screamed a lot when the waves came crashing on me, but after a while I found the waves to be so zen and calming. I didn't want to get out of the water!

After reaquainting myself with the ocean, I was excited to grab a surf board and try my luck with the waves. I tried two different boards - a short one without a foot leash, and a long thick one that was supposedly easier for beginners. Catching waves is pretty tricky. First you have to wait for the right one, and then when it arrives, you have to belly flop onto the board and start paddling toward the shore as much as you can, and eventually, if the wave lets you, you will be swept forward and taken for a ride. And during that ride, if you are travelling fast enough, you have to magically get your feet up on the board in one foul swoop. That was the hardest part, as I only managed to get my knees up on the board. However, I did get to ride a few waves and it was the best feeling. Surfing really is a zen sport, and makes you feel really connected to the ebb and flow of the ocean. I do wish I had worn a stronger SPF sunscreen, though, because my body is as red as a lobster right now from sunburn. I am going to try surfing again next weekend!

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