If you´ve studied with me, SUP yoga or Yin Yoga, you´ve been asked the following question: Why am I doing this?
In my teacher trainings and workshops, the question why is always present. Not in a way where I´m always telling you why we do the things we do (sometimes I do that), but in a way where I´m encouraging you to ask yourself the why behind your actions. This is enormously beneficial in many ways. Here´s why.
WE´RE ALL DRIVEN BY A DESIRE TO FEEL A CERTAIN WAY
We all have desires making us do the things we do. And all our desires stem from a desired emotion. Knowing these emotions, the force behind our actions, can make a huge difference in or lives, and especially if we´re trying to figure out how we want to live our lives. Let me give an example.
We want to finish a marathon. We dream of a specific house. We want those expensive shoes. That sofa will be so perfect in our living room and we can barely wait to get the money to buy it. We dislike our job and we dream of becoming writers, yoga teachers, professors or shop owners. These are all different goals, wants and longings. Doesn´t matter. Everything we do, wish and long for stems from desired emotions. It´s not about that marathon itself. It´s not about that shop owning life itself. What it´s all about is how that will make us FEEL. What we want in life is driven by how those specific things, accomplishments or jobs will end up making us feel. Knowing this – and we can design our dream life.
LET ME GET PERSONAL ON THIS…
I´ve always wanted to feel that I´m strong, capable and confident. With a touch of adventure. Knowing that is how I want to feel has driven me into the choices I´ve made through my life. When I became a police officer, it was driven by an interest for the job, in combination with knowing that being a police officer would make me feel strong, confident and capable. Capable of handling complicated situations with confidence, while being exposed to some adventurous work, not knowing what comes next. Then injury happened and my life took another turn – leading me into yoga and meditation. My life slowed down, a lot, which came with some newfound longings and emotions. I still wanted to feel strong, capable and confident, but I also learned that I wanted to feel calm and connected. And free.
Being injured and confused not able to do the job as a police officer I had to make a new decision in life. Knowing I wanted a life where I felt calm, strong, connected and free – well, the decision to leave the police force to teach yoga full time wasn´t so hard to make. Because living my life as a full time yoga teacher makes me feel just how I want to feel. Except that I missed the feelings of strong and capable a little bit. So how would I be able to feel that too, again?
A few years back I took up running. I´ve always hated running. Growing up I was a competitive wrestler for about 15 years, and running was necessary to get to my goals as a wrestler. But the running itself I hated. Then some 20 years later my body urged some running. So I started with 1 km. Two years later I finished my first ultra-marathon. I ran 54 km. Why? Because I was driven by a desire of feeling capable again. Feeling free. Strong. And calm. And ultra-running gives me exactly that.
SO WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH SUP YOGA?
We all know yoga teaches lots of life lessons. Nobody can do our yoga practice for us. We have to do it ourselves, and that´s one of yoga´s true powers. It works because we take responsibility for ourselves. We make the choice to practice, and by that we peel of layers of our own self, and we start to feel things. We learn things about our self and our longings, like I learned I wanted to live a life where I felt calm and connected. We can practice yoga and not pay attention to our feelings, but sooner or later that becomes exhausting. Not paying attention to our feelings is really exhausting, because feelings want to be felt. They are meant to be felt. And by feeling our emotions, knowing our emotions and learning about our wants and wishes and longings and desires, we can design our life based on our own unique path. All through yoga, and by asking ourselves why. Why do I do this, or that? Underneath it all lies desires to feel a certain way.
Now what happens when we bring our practice to a stand up paddle board? For many people, just the idea of practicing yoga on a floating unstable yoga mat is unthinkable. Fear of water, fear of being in or close to water, fear of not being good enough and a lack of knowing the benefits that comes out of facing those fears keeps most people away from yoga on stand up paddleboard, SUP yoga. Sad, since the lessons are so deep and profound. All it takes is one try. And some questioning. Because SUP yoga forces us to do something that our regular yoga practice doesn´t. At least not in the same way. And that is, slowing down.
SLOW DOWN AND SIMPLIFY
SUP yoga forces us to slow down. Practicing yoga on an unstable yoga mat forces us to be aware and present of our every move. By slowing down we will feel our yoga practice in a different way. The simplest yoga poses become enhanced. And it all happens in nature, where the only thing we hear is the sound of the wind and water. The more silence on the outside, the more we´ll feel our inner longings and wishes, aches and pains, and desired feelings. SUP yoga can help us get clarity on our desired feelings.
SUP Yoga Pro has a vision. And that is to share some of what SUP yoga gives me, personally. The slowing down, being patient and learning from nature. We´re all driven by different emotions and desires. And that´s the beauty of it. We´re not here to learn the same lessons.
We´re constantly affected by the world around us sending never-ending stimuli. Thoughts are streaming through our heads all the time. We need a way to slow down and simplify our lives. Both yoga and the ocean have got this covered and offer tools to melt into awareness and presence.
From the SUP Yoga Pro vision
GETTING BACK TO BEING PERSONAL AGAIN…
SUP yoga for me is driven by my answers to the question why. Why am I practicing SUP yoga? The answer is, that SUP yoga makes me feel calm and capable. Strong and free. Connected. Present. SUP yoga offers me my desired feelings. For me SUP yoga is a job and a lifestyle. A passion. For everyone who doesn´t have SUP yoga as a job (most people), it can work as a support in creating clarity on desired feelings way off water. It can work as a support on making life changes that doesn´t have anything to do with SUP yoga, which is the tool to understand yourself and your actions.
START WITH WHY
We all have desires making us do the things we do. And all our desires stem from a desired emotion. Knowing these emotions make a huge difference in or lives. Knowing these emotions, we can design a life we want to live, based on our own feelings. Not everybody else’s feelings. Our own. Powerful? Peaceful? Independent? Adored? We shouldn´t be ashamed of how we want to feel. By feeling and locating our true desired feelings and why we do what we do will help us design a life just perfect for us. If SUP yoga can help us on the way, we should go for it. Bring on those lessons. Lessons to bring back to solid ground where we start to create our life. A life based on how we want to feel.