Virtual Saucha & Natural Yoga: Before & After

Virtual Saucha & Natural Yoga: Before & After

The one thing I noticed as I made an effort to be more unplugged is how many people talk on the phone while driving. Since last year I have been making a conscious effort to not talk and drive yet I haven’t really paid much attention to what everyone else has been doing. It was fascinating to see that more often than not people are talking on the phone while driving, or I was sitting behind a driver at a stop sign or light texting instead of paying attention to traffic. No judgments though, this was my experiment for my life.

But what it taught me is I really want to be more aware, more present, and less tethered. 

Virtual Saucha & Natural Yoga: Before & After
Me, circa 1999 on Aspen Mountain with no cell phone. See how happy I am?

From 1998 to 2000 I lived in Aspen, CO where I learned how to snowboard. I would have by no means ever made the X-Games but I really enjoyed it. Most days I would surf around the mountain by myself since my friends were far more advanced riders and skiers and were perfectly happy to poke along solo. I remember one specific time while riding Snowmass looking over at the incredible terrain and thinking “Holy Shit! I am ONE with this gigantic mountain! How did that happen?”

A couple of days ago a friend asked me “you like long walks, do you see yoga in other areas of nature as you stroll?” He asked me to blog about it rather than tweet my answer, which brings me here sharing my snowboarding ah-ha moment. 

At that point in time, I didn’t have access to a lot of yoga studios in Aspen but had already been practicing for several years prior to moving there. I realized as I glided along the snow that that was my studio and my board was my mat; I still needed my breath, I still needed focus, and most importantly I had to not judge myself for falling on my arse, which happened a lot. 

To further answer his question about yoga in nature, I see it everywhere. Now that I’m living back by the water I see and feel the importance of flow. The tides rise and fall as an asana with the rise being the entrance to the pose, the top of the tide being the moments of holding the pose, and the fall of the tide is the release of the pose. 

As I take walks throughout the year observing the flowers and trees going through their life cycle: rising in spring (surya namaskar), blooming in summer (backbends), leaves changing color & flowers wilting (forward folds), and finally going dormant to gather energy (savasana and meditation).  

Nature is a yoga teacher, no apps needed. Which brings me to my other ponderance of this week; my friend Emmanuelle’s Virtual Saucha Challenge for October. In her blog, she invites us to simplify our electronic lives. I have been attempting to do this for a while; all of the twittering, facebooking, emailing, and blogging sometimes gets overwhelming and is definitely time-consuming. The time I could be spending outside, in nature.

This morning I was getting myself ready to leave the house to teach and was checking email on my Blackberry when I got this message:

“Battery is drained, handheld is shutting down.”
and POOF! off it went.
Thank you Blackberry.
Yes, I did plug it in to charge, but without looking back, I left the house untethered and very happy. No phone, no email, no tweets, no texts, no nothing! It felt delicious and natural
So I too will be making more of an effort to do less virtually.
  • I will do my pondering unplugged for the rest of October and will see you wonderful readers in November sometime.
  • I will stand firm to my commitment to go to yoga class Sunday mornings rather than surfing the web with my coffee.
  • I will not obsessively check Twitter and Facebook to see what I’m “missing”. 
  • I will reply to emails, tweets, etc but not at lightning speed for fear of seeming disinterested or impolite.
  • I will leave my Blackberry at home more. 
How do you experience yoga in Nature and will you meet the challenge of Virtual Saucha in October? I look forward to reading your answers in a mindful and leisurely pace. Hari OM.

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