Barnacled Bliss

As the yoga course has progressed, we have been engaging in much more teaching. The past two weekends, there have been 3 courses a weekend offered to the public taught by our fellow classmates. I was able to attend Tara’s tantra style class with extremely deep breathing, extended holding of poses, and multiple savasanas. The end result was an overwhelming sense of relaxation and contentment, as displayed by the ear-to-ear grins on everyone’s face.

With my injury, I was unable to teach one of the classes and decided Tuesday to lead a kundalini style yoga session on top of the meditation rocks. Instead of going to the shala for a class with Joana; Gabe, Nikky, Tara, and I walked along the beach and made the climb up onto the meditation rocks. As the sun’s rays hit our skin, we engaged in a series of poses designed to raise the untapped energy from the bases of our spines and send it upwards to the brain and throughout the entire body. The heat from the sun was joined by internal heat created from our rising energy, turning our abdomens into a veritable furnace.

Laying in corpse pose, feeling the tingling sensation of the energy coursing through my body with the breeze upon my face and the calming sound of crashing waves below me, I felt in tune with nature. Seeing the expressions of deep comprehension on the faces of my fellow practitioners was very rewarding.

Meditation rocks over the Arabian Sea.

As Gabe wandered off to climb some rocks, we followed and made our way up a large rock overlooking the water. As Gabe made the leap from the top of the rock to the sea 30 feet below we held our breath, trusting that the high tide would provide the depth we needed. Seeing Gabe’s head bob up out of the water, shouting “Ouuuch my assshole!”, we scurried up the rock to make our own leaps, minus the cornholing. Normally overlooking a jump like this I would feel a sense of panic. I could feel the fundamental shift in my thinking and confidence in my body’s abilities due to the yoga, taking a deep breath and launching off the rock, letting gravity have it’s way with me as I met the water and emerged with a natural rush and exuberant wolf howl.

After the girls made their jumps, we attempted to climb back up the rocks from the sea, an overly optimistic choice in hindsight. Gabe and I approached the rocks first (Nicki and Tara usually wait to see what happens to us before committing). The ebb and flow of the waves change the elevation of the water by more than 5 feet, making timing crucial for bypassing the barnacle covered rocks. Nearing the rocks we were accompanied by a wave, introducing us to the rocks slightly harder than expected. Desperately gripping the outside of the sharp barnacles, Gabe was able to make his way to a safe area. Meanwhile, I stood on a barnacle-laced rock reaching for a handhold, when a wave crashed into the back of knees, taking my legs out. Caught in the current, I was thrown forward by waves and pulled back by the rip, crashing into underwater rocks along the way, feeling the sting of the barnacles bite into the meaty flesh of my hand and legs. In a way it was sort of a fun experience to feel the raw power of the sea, using the momentum of the rip to swim away from the rocks and find a less turbulent path of ascent.

We climbed our way back up to our gear and joined our classmates for class and our asana practical. After class, we celebrated Nikky’s birthday by giving her a cake icing makeover and making her dinner. Playing shithead, Deepak brazenly announced that he would buy everyone mojitos if he lost. Hubris never pays off as Deepak promptly lost the next round, holding true to his word as we sipped mojitos on the beach into the night, prepping for our last day in the course.