Friday, September 11, 2015

Yoga on the Flight Deck

Tuesday and Thursday mornings we have "Professional Development Time" from 0800 to 0930. PDT (pee-dee-tee) is so people can study for their advancement tests, work on qualifications or somehow otherwise professionally develop themselves, including working out. We have to stay physically fit due to the nature of our job, so Commandant policy mandates commands give crews three hours per week of time during the workday for fitness (operations permitting).

I've been using my Tuesday and Thursday mornings for circuit training per my 1/2 marathon training plan. We also have a new rowing machine in IC Gyro, a space down in the depths of the ship that has a spare few feet of space for the fitness equipment. There are dumbbells, free weights and kettle bells on the fantail. And a stationary bike in Laundry -- which I've tried to use before, usually with limited success because Laundry is already close to 100 degrees even before I start peddling.

This morning as I was starting my first set of 50 crunches on the flight deck, I saw two guys laying out a workout mat further aft of me, carefully placed directly on the center-line of the ship. SN ND and SN WB sat back on bended knees, and then stretched forward into Child's Pose. When I left the flight deck 45 minutes later, they were still out there, pressing powerfully up into Full Wheel. I think it was SN WB's first time practicing yoga. SN ND was a great teacher.

I've always wanted a yoga routine in my shipboard workout regime but usually even just standing upright is enough of a challenge. Balancing in precarious yoga poses underway has always seemed a touch too difficult.

These two guys did a very nice job of sticking with basic, but challenging poses that kept them fairly stable. I even saw a couple of Three-Legged Dogs as I was cranking through my fourth rep of 40 goblin squats. Their chatarangas were things of beauty...nearly imperceptibly slow, all the way down to the deck.

Later in the day I asked SN WB how he liked the session. He said he thought it was going to be fairly easy, but as he got into it he realized how strenuous it actually was. SN ND and I joked about attempting Warrior Three underway, and how that one is hard enough most days in a stable-floored yoga studio.

There's definitely a yogic lesson in this little story somewhere. Maybe something insightful about fitting the practice to the situation, or accepting what is, or finding unique ways to work with what you have to get what you need. Regardless, they brought a ray of joy to my day this morning, seeing two guys practicing yoga on the flight deck.

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