Swan Diving Into a Forward Bend
Poses & posits to stretch your imagination
I always do warm up stretches before yoga class and today was no different. That is, if swan diving into a forward bend, sitting sideways on a guagua can be considered a warm up. A guagua is a public bus in the Dominican Republic. In the US or Canada, these mini buses, often decades old, would never pass a safety. Nevertheless, you can get from one town to the next for a mere 25 pesos, which is why the driver picks up as many passengers as possible on each trip, and packs them in like sardines. With at least 25 riders on a bus designed to seat 12, yoga fans like myself have a leg up on other, less flexible transit users. Sandwiched between a sizable woman holding an enormous box containing a wedding cake and a man carrying a large backpack, I was twisted like a pretzel for the 10-minute ride.
It was all worth it though. Rolling out my mat on the hot, sandy beach, clear blue skies overhead, listening to the sound of the surf, I forgot all about how I got there. And, after a few rounds of Sun Salutations, I was completely revitalized.
Practicing yoga on the beach is wonderful, but I also had the chance to visit a yoga temple on the way to Cabarete. There was something special and sacred about this place. Even the words yoga temple put me in a meditative state. Set on the grounds of what could only be called my paradise found, the Yoga Temple at Natura Cabana, overlooking the sea, seemed to be just the perfect place to begin a new transformational journey.
My own transformational journey, full of fits and starts between savoring the present moment and resisting it like an obstacle to be overcome, has left me feeling slightly off balance. Is such desperate striving for a ‘better’ future even necessary? Not according to New Age guru, Deepak Chopra. Deepak says, in nature, creation comes forth with ease. A seed doesn’t struggle to become a tree―it simply unfolds in grace.
As I walked the lush grounds, I felt this could be true, and a sense of calm washed over me. Like a scene from Eat, Pray Love, I imagined I might see, at any moment, saffron-robed monks in silent prayer. However, there wasn’t a monk to be found. But, maybe I would get lucky like Julia, and there would be a Javier Bardem at the end of my journey too.