It’s been a couple years since I’ve taken my yoga off the mat and onto the water. Back then, I was fairly new to yoga. Standing up to move into Warrior I pose was huge.
Two years later, after developing a more regular yoga practice, a comparison of myself in this same pose shows little difference. Mostly, I see a difference in practice rather than more perfected alignment. My putting my hands together and forward of body is due to my current practice in ashtanga. It’s not better; it’s just different.
What you don’t see pictured, is the fact that we actually flowed through a sequence of poses, including Sun Salutations, with a nice build up of poses peaking at multiple points including tree, Warrior I and II, triangle, wheel, shoulder stand, plow, fish, etc. After savansana, we got a bit more time for free play.
Not so surprising, the poses which trouble me on land (namely tree pose), are exponentially more challenging afloat a stand up paddleboard. The difference is that you cannot fake it on the water. There are no walls to hold onto and even your dristi moves as you do.
The cool thing is how well you adapt — even when your fellow yogi falls into the water and sends waves in your direction. It’s just like life. You know, when things get unsteady and you wonder how the heck you will be able to handle crazy workloads, competing priorities, major life events, or just feeling worn out by having played a little too hard over the weekend. You might wobble a little before you find your grounding, but then you soften what you can, breathe, and ignite your inner-power to get through it. And you ride along with the ebb and flow of life.
Like my Warrior I pose from two years ago, it’s all the same just a slightly different approach.