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I’ve been doing as much yoga as I can manage this month before I go back to teaching.  Maybe because I went seeking yoga again after a 4 year hiatus, or maybe because of this transitional time of year for me, the lessons I’m seeing in yoga are really hitting home, and I wanted to share a quick insight.

In tonight’s class, the instructor was talking about kalapurnata, which she explains in her own blog post here:  http://yoga-sanctuary.blogspot.com/2011/01/living-in-fullness-of-time.html — living in the fullness of time — in past, present and future alike.  Towards the end of the class we did some poses with a back foot firmly rooted to the earth, strongly buoying us up while the front foot led us into the future — and in midst of one of these, I had a sudden muscle memory of feeling that stance in scuba diving.

When you are boat diving, there are a couple ways to enter the water, the most direct being the “giant stride.”  There you stand on deck of a boat, heavily laden with gear.  You shuffle up to the edge in your fins and then plant your back foot firmly, giving you stability on a rocking boat and a base from which to push forward, launch your leading foot far out over the water, and from there plummet into that sweet, sweet abyss!  The rear foot is not something that is left behind or neglected, or surpassed — it is an essential foundation for the next step, and it must be strong enough to allow you to make a wide step out a safe distance from the edge of the boat.

scuba diver taking a giant stride off a boat

Photo credit: spartanjoe, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Now all the analogies here seem quite obvious to me, and maybe even trite to you 🙂 But what fascinates me is that this insight only bubbled up to my conscious mind when my legs felt themselves doing that work in yoga that they’d done in the giant stride while scuba diving so many years ago.  I’m pleased that the discipline of yoga has gotten the wisdom embedded in my body to make itself heard to higher levels of consciousness where my intuition can integrate this knowledge.

By the way, the other way to get off a boat that I know of is to sit on the gunwale, facing in to the midline of the boat, and then hurtle yourself backwards, letting the weight of the tank on your back bring you down.  There’s a lesson in there, too…Or if you have a ladder over the side of the boat, I suppose you could leave your fins off, climb down the ladder, and then put the fins on once you’re floating in the water, but that’s just annoying and not nearly as cool as plunging in!