Yoga + Beach = Happiness!
By Stéphanie Emond
Work, daycare, grocery store, ski lessons, dentist, cooking, garage, cleaning, meeting, short night, and repeat. Despite my insane schedule, I manage to make time for my yoga practice. Pleasure keeps the lead, but it is also an order from my captain (a.k.a. my conscience) to stay on course.
Practicing yoga helps me keep afloat: it allows me to think about myself only, and to focus on my breathing and my inner strength. Some people practice yoga as a way to meditate. Being hyperactive, practicing yoga rather allows me to transfer the excess energy I have from my head to my body. I need it almost as much as I need to drink water or eat, and way more than I need to attend the latest not-to-be-missed fashion show or gallery opening. I need it to keep my balance and feel strong!
So when it comes to planning a trip with babies, husband and friends, after the beach, my yoga practice is a crucial issue.
Vacation = Beach + Yoga.
Of course, food is also important (and that’s why I avoid certain popular destinations!), but all it takes to make a great meal is a little bit of resourcefulness, a friendly fisherman, and some fresh vegetables. I also like my comfort; even though I’m known as a bit of a hippie or a bohemian, fresh sheets and a warm shower are essential to my happiness!
When on vacation, our points of reference wash away with the sound of waves. Rather than having to run to my yoga class, I have all the time I need to ride my bike and unroll my mat, already embracing the yoga state of mind. With extraordinary and inspiring masters guiding me, my practices become more real day after day; it feels more harmonious and especially more coherent. One morning, I heard a little speech that opened my eyes and my heart to the deep motivations of my practice. Moved by emotion, I did my Asanas, then, feeling more at peace than ever, I went to kiss my children busy building a huge sand castle. Suddenly I felt my heart had become bigger. Whereas physical shape is the most visible to others – and probably the easiest to reach, emotional and spiritual well-being is the best gift you can give yourself.
Being more present on my mat allows me to be more present in my relationships with others, and my yoga retreats allow me to make my way there “more quickly”. In addition to being more focused and determined, I let the magic of the sea smoothly penetrate and inspire me to become who I really am.
After a 5-week break in my secret hideout on a beach in Mexico near Belize, I am ready for a new beginning. My conscience is filled with gratitude for Life and the joy of knowing that I have inspired the friends who visited us in our paradise to continue their “journey” by continuing to practice yoga, having a healthy and natural diet, and enjoying the present moment more.
There is no way I’m waiting for my next vacation to recharge my batteries. I have decided to do it every day by taking a moment for myself. This is the beauty of yoga.