Ujjayi breath through a snorkel

My car dashboard told me it was -12 degrees this morning. Most people might complain about that, especially after spending the last week in Hawaii, where the 24 hour temperature range was 72-84 degrees. I am kind of missing that. However, I live in a place where people also come for vacation. Yes, even in the winter. Honestly, it’s hardly ever this freakishly cold.

I’m a snorkeling addict. The place we stay on the Big Island is a snorkeler’s paradise, as you can swim right out from the beach and just hit it. It’s better than any of those boat expeditions with the crappy lunch. I was snorkeling 2-3 times a day, and would have done more if my body would have let me. I can see why people find both fear and fascination under the sea – it truly is an entirely different world. I can’t get enough. I would come out of the water and check my reef guides to confirm fish sightings, and tell everyone who would listen about how long turtles can hold their breath and the huge octopus I saw. The day 8 year old snorkeled way out into deep water with me, holding my hand the entire time, I thought I might explode with joy (the last year of her weekly swim lessons clearly paid off).

The sound of my breath through the snorkel was soothing, and reminded me of ujjayi breath during yoga. I did bow pose in the water, in my flippers. I laughed out loud (well, into my snorkel) at the antics of fish. How could anyone not want to do this? Why wasn’t the entire hotel out here with me? Hhhhmmmm. I guess that’s sort of like asking why doesn’t everyone do yoga.

The way the sum of all these snorkeling parts made me feel reminded me of why it is important to connect with nature. I am constantly reminded of this living here in Montana, where my job is to share what this “last best place” has to offer on our retreats. I was given a fresh perspective on the “mind/body/nature” connection, as Richard Louv calls it, through my snorkel mask. Put The Nature Principle on your 2014 reading list. Or better yet, come to Montana and reconnect to nature on a yoga retreat; you’ll get a copy of the book in your goodie bag on our Yoga & Hiking and Yoga & Yellowstone retreats. Namaste.