Monday, October 28, 2013
My normal response when someone goes on about “Kum Ba Yah” type of stuff like yoga and meditation is to roll my eyes. My wife is very active with Yoga and it has obvious health benefits of which I am now convinced. Our friend Gail is an expert yoga instructor who even did a stint in India. And yes she’s a vegetarian. She convinced me to try yoga and it is indeed very relaxing and builds and maintains flexibility which is important as we get older. I confess that work usually gets in the way of being a regular at yoga - unlike my wife that makes the time for yoga. Anyways, Gail was featured on this site on the topic of "boat yoga" in a previous article and in a Boating Georgian Bay TV episode. Boat yoga is common practice down in Miami and Lauderdale and yes the yoga instructor comes on board and does the yoga thing in the cockpit or foredeck (or poolside if you have a big enough yacht). So my lesson learned from Gail is that even though something may seem ridiculous at face value, you should not judge it until you try it.
So then one day someone was telling me about meditation. This is another thing that in past would make my eyes roll. I read about it one day and tried it on my own at home with little result. Then a few times up on the bridge of the boat I tried it when I was on the boat alone. You notice I said alone. For me it would be too weird to be doing this with others about. What I will say is it’s not as easy as it would seem and it takes practice and discipline ... and it certainly provides real relaxation and recharges the brain. What I found works best for me is not real mediation but a variation where I would just sit up on the bridge in the evening and close my eyes and totally veg out with some music playing softly in the background – usually classical or believe it or not Santana. That works for me and if their are no disturbances, I can be in the zone for up to an hour.
So a friend sent me a pic of this woman meditating on the bow of the boat at anchor. She not only looks great and very artistic ... she looks totally in the zone. The pic was inspiring and I got to thinking that the best way to meditate is on a boat with the waves lapping and a slight breeze in a secluded anchorage (Georgian Bay has lots of those). Next boating season I’m going to try it on my own in some remote anchorage and we’ll see how that works. I hear about people using meditation for pain management. Apparently for some expert practitioners of meditation, it can be more powerful than any pain medication, especially once the body gets used to the medication. It could come in handy later in life ... but it’s not likely something you can learn once your body is already racked with pain. You want to practice for years in advance of that possibility.
The moral of the story is don’t be afraid to try new things no matter how strange they may seem. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.