How Stand Up Paddleboarding is Mindfulness Training

How Stand Up Paddleboarding is Mindfulness Training

Great article as seen on www.UrbanFitt.com .

Here are some of the parallels between the meditation and mindfulness training and practice I’ve been implementing in my life and my parallel experience on the stand up paddle board.

 

Keep your eye on the horizon:

 

If you look down while you’re trying to stand up on the board, you’re likely to fall.  Keeping my eye on the horizon (the bigger picture) instead of the minutiae helped to keep me balanced and able to transition from kneeling to standing.

 

Being too stiff or too loose won’t help you handle the turbulence:

 

If I stiffened up too much, I couldn’t adapt to whatever wave was coming.  If I wasn’t accessing some deeper core strength I would fall too.  I love this when it comes to training our minds but also our bodies.  We need a strong container but we also need to be able to be flexible mentally and physically.  Not too taut, not too loose.

 

I really couldn’t anticipate what a wave was going to be like until I was riding it:

 

The waves weren’t so big I know.  But yesterday it was like being on the ocean, I was told.  We had to face into the waves to stabilize.  I could see a wave coming and try to prepare for it but until I was on it, I really didn’t know how big or small it was going to be for me to handle.  I couldn’t totally prepare so why not keep my eyes up and steady myself in relation to the shore.  Same goes for anticipating future events.  I can think I know what something coming is going to be like and even try to prepare for it, but ultimately until I’m in it, I don’t know what it’s going to be like to adapt to it.  You just deal with something when it arrives and know you’ll be able to stay steady through it.

 

If I breathed,  it was more fun:

 

I forgot to breath many times especially because I’m not good yet.  When I remembered to breath, I found myself starting to smile and enjoying the sun, the view and the moment.  Simple, but  meditation and being on the the stand up paddle board this weekend reinforced that.

 

I didn’t care if I was good at it, I was just so happy to be doing it:

 

The act of getting out of my routines on a weekend was so great for me.  Breaking habits or routines is sometimes exactly what we need to reconnect with ourselves.  Being on the water reminded me that I’m happiest on or by the water.  With the sun warming my skin and a breeze against my face.  I like my own company and I especially like my own company when I find an environment that brings me home.  Always a West Coast island girl at heart.

 

Article by Jane Clapp