A surfers tale

I recently saw a doco about this so called almost perfect wave. In Haiti, I think it was. The highly experienced wave chasers flock there, and a few of them each year sacrifice their lives there on the sacred coral of the shallow water. The sometimes 10 meter wave is not merciful and if you don’t drop quickly to the bottom of the wave and get moving along, the lip will curl over and crash on you and choose when to spit you out. Sooner or later. Ouch! One of these surfers, and a professional on the tour circuit described the perfect wave needs to, “…have weight, so that it is of consequence. That’s why we’re here”.

You could say the same about motorcycling, long distance running, mountain climbing, and even painting or sculpting, composing, to mention a few. Getting out of our comfort zone and meeting the challenge. The greater the challenge, or risk, the greater the outcome.

So, paddling out on the board. You safely pass the break line of the wave by diving under it and coming up in the calm swells beyond. You wade, mesmerised, there amongst another few surfers. Looking at the distant shore. Windows glimmer from houses on the mainland. Another life… Now, a wave. You look behind, you see this swell meets all your requirements. No one else says anything, so, you state clearly and without hesitation, “This one’s mine” And it feels like you’re mocking a deity above as you hear tiur one worfs in your head.

You pick up speed towards the shore coming into synch with the Ocean.

In your head there is no, roll your shoulders back, or awareness of breath, or your surroundings, or the guy that returned your look of fear when you told him this one’s yours. But all of this and more. Everything becomes intergrated. One. With the wave. You’ve done this so many times before. It’s part of your nature.

You are soo high on the crest that you, gasp for a moment. You look down and see where you need to be fast and moving away from the howling barrel. You drop with the board perfectly placed under your feet and your body weight low. At one with your mat, I mean board. You caught it! and you exhale. As you speed along the living wall of the wave, inhale, arms stretched out like a tight rope walker, every sinew and cell alive, from the feet like suction cups. Movements fluid, like the element that surrounds you. Strong legs and a spine like a suspension rod.
The barrel blows out a ferocious wind that pushes you along, sometimes blowing you off. But not now, you ride, salt burning your eyes, in humility, in awe, respect and simultaneously with the feeling of complete insignificance in this Ocean.

Consequences? Transformative.

Yoga gives us transformative opportunities again and again. You should fear hurting yourself by over doing grunting and pushing. Physically and mentally. Work with the forces of your nature. If it is excruciating, back off. But if it feels like all the variables are right, maintain your integrity, and bend your knee more, or challenge your back and legs more. Hold more instructions.  Deepen. Then back to your mountain pose/tadasana. A teacher can’t read your mind, and they don’t grade your performance. And you can’t have their experience. You’re alone. You on your mat. Amongst thousands doing the same. I stand on the mat infront of my teachers for workshops and retreats and assessments : /. Just like they stand before Mr Iyengar, and Mr Iyengar stood before Sri Krisnamucarya, and he before his teacher…

here comes the sun

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