Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunrise Yoga

My alarm went off this morning, like most mornings at 0615. Usually I laze
around for a few more minutes, before I finally drag my lazy carcass out of
the rack by 0630 or 0645. This morning, I sprang up, and hustled through my
morning ablutions. I had Sunrise Yoga on the fantail at 0630 to be ready
for!

I called the bridge to ask what the temperature was outside, and was
pleasantly relieved to find it had warmed from the blustery low 50s we had
last night for flight ops to 70 degrees this morning. Sunrise was predicted
for 0725ish, so I knew it would be pitch-ass black when I got out there. But
go I must -- Sunrise Yoga was on the POD (Plan of the Day), handwritten in
last night at 2130 because I forgot to type it in the original draft.

We'd been wallering around all night, with the swell gently off the quarter,
so I was a little nervous about actually be able to even stand upright,
never mind move through a series of sun salutations or breathe deeply in
down dog. I set out the mats on the centerline of the ship, and hoped for
the best. ME3 RS, SK2 KH and CO all braved the dark, rolling decks to join
me. 

Now, I have never taught a yoga class before. I don't even really have my
own practice at home. I go to yoga when it doesn't interfere with my
schedule, which usually translates into weekend warrior yoga two or so
weekends a month. I ran through one practice session on my own before we got
underway, with a very basic series of poses, and figured that would be good
enough. And then...well, then I told other people I'd be guiding Sunrise
Yoga on the flight deck (fantail made more sense this morning) on Wednesday
and Saturday mornings at 0630 this patrol. So now I had to do it.

Guiding a yoga session ain't all that easy! I had to be loud to be heard
three people away because the fantail was kinda noisy, being right over the
steering gear in aft steering. I kept getting my left and right mixed up. We
were still rolling, the decks were slippy wet, and I wasn't really sure how
much experience any of my fellow yogis had.

But I still had a blast! We started seated to focus on our breathing and
then moved through some seated side bends. On to table top and cat/cow pose.
Then some core work -- extending opposite arm and leg and then pulling elbow
to knee and then extending again. That takes some balance when you're in a
yoga studio planted solidly on terra firma. Underway, with a quartering
swell...it was definitely a level 3 core work! Then we moved on to starfish
pose, on one bent knee with the other leg extended out to the side, bending
over the extended leg. Then to a series of five sun salutations, moving
through Warrior I, Warrior II, extended side angle and reverse Warrior and
then through a vinyasa of a chataranga push-up, up dog and down dog. I may
have giggled my way through a couple of the reverse Warriors as a swell
tipped the boat away from me and I almost landed on my not so Warrior butt. 

And about this time, the sun was sending pink and orange rays of brilliance
shooting from behind the clouds. 

We moved through pigeon pose on both sides, and cow face pose -- both hip
openers because I was being a little selfish. Then a seated forward fold,
bridge pose and shavashana. We ended in easy seated pose as the rays of the
rising sun disappeared behind thickened cloud cover. 

I know shavasana is supposed to be meditative, but I couldn't help the
thought that passed through my mind of being intensely grateful for the
thick steel upon which my body was resting, that protects me from this great
ocean and allows me to sail on her waters and have this amazing job. Even
though I didn't breathe the way I was supposed to because I was giving
guidance to the other yogis, and I didn't stretch as deeply as I normally
would because I was trying to simply maintain my balance on the rolling
deck, I left this morning's Sunrise Yoga session so happy and energized. 

Namaste DILIGENCE!

LCDR Charlotte Mundy
Executive Officer
USCGC DILIGENCE (WMEC 616)
**UNDERWAY**

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