Yoga for a Good Swim
A good long swim is officially (at least in my book) the best way to start a day. Especially when you can do it outside under the sun. This year, I decided to take a few lessons to brush up on my strokes. Those YouTube videos are great, but there’s nothing like a real life human instructor to offer critique and answer all the silly questions you can think up. What DO I do when attempting a flip turn that makes me completely disoriented? Before my lessons began, I hadn’t been swimming in several months. Instead, I’d been doing a bit of jogging, and thanks to Root, coming to plenty of yoga classes. In yoga, I am constantly being reminded to pay attention to how my body is feeling, and to do so without judgment. This has never sounded like a bad idea, so being a good student, I try to notice where my body is and accept that place every day.
I had no idea how much being more self aware would help my swimming. In my lessons, I was not only able to take direction and tell what parts of my body were resisting certain movements, but I was able to do new things! I was never very good at breast stroke, and after a hip injury, I thought I might never be able to get my left leg to do what the right can do so easily. This summer, I did it! And it even feels good.
I guess it’s possible that time alone allowed my hip to heal. But I don’t think so. It’s all in the asana. In the meditation. In the letting go. In the peace of gentle perseverance.
"In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance.” H Jackson Brown