As most of our friends know, we have practiced yoga (off and on) for the last decade. It has always been a joy, even though we have not always been faithful practitioners.
Now, however, living aboard has made it even clearer that we should foster whatever flexibility we can in our aging selves. Becoming stiff and sore is not practical in a life that involves too little space "at home" for even normal movement (think having a bed that one must crawl into; a front doorway that is up a ladder; and vegetables that are at the bottom of a three-foot deep box!). Fortunately at the same time we have reduced our physical space, we have decided to claim the gift of time resulting from our unemployed status!
When we left California, we brought one yoga mat with us, hoping that we would be disciplined enough to use it to stretch from time-to-time. What we didn't count on was that yoga practitioners are everywhere! In Mazatlan we found two separate places to share our practice. One was a beach-side group lead by a lovely, young expatriated Canadian who had obviously had some formal teacher training and was only slightly hindered in her practice by the fact that she was five months pregnant. The other was a short-term group lead on a volunteer basis by a delightful older (even more so than we!) Alaskan with the appropriate name of "Perk" Perkins who, when he's not on vacation, flies search and rescue planes in Alaska.
In La Cruz, we practice with a gentle woman that has lived aboard at the marina for a year or more. She is so passionate about her practice that she shares it on a volunteer basis for an hour, six mornings a week, with anyone that wishes to join her. And with the assistance of members of this informal group have found a fabric store that sells yoga mat material by the meter, so Bryce finally has a mat long enough for him! [He was really drawn to the pink Hello Kitty material, but settled on plain blue thinking it better fit his dignified yoga personality . . . ]
We have yet to find true teachers of yoga comparable to those at It's All Yoga and The Yoga Solution, in Sacramento -- those who gently and patiently lead us starting with our very first creaky downward-facing dogs. But what we have found is that those teachers gave us enough of a base that we can take our practice on the high seas (yes, we've even done some postures while on night watch!), and join others that are willing to share their practices with us. Thank you, Yogis Jennifer, Madeleine, Alicia and Bob. Namaste!
We now hope that we will be able to find other yoga practitioners as we travel further on Abracadabra. At our next stops we will be on the lookout for the international sign of yoga practice -- someone carrying a yoga mat -- maybe even a pink Hello Kitty mat?