Yoga is an essential daily practice for me as a liveaboard cruiser; it keeps me limber and strong to be able to operate at my best physical condition, as sailboat living requires; and it promotes my physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing for myself and importantly to be the best partner to Rand.
The kind of yoga I practice is called Synergy, developed by the wonderful Peri Ness DeFay. It is an offshoot from basic Bikram yoga, with lots of breath work, every posture-asana being performed twice, and a period of breathing (where the healing takes place) in between the asanas.
Practicing this yoga daily back in 2001/2002 in a heated studio (which adds the healing benefit of deeply purifying sweating) got me through the most challenging period in my life. If I felt blue, I would head off to yoga and by the end of the class, I always would feel better.
Yoga on a sailboat at anchor brings the additional magic of looking out over the ocean and beautiful scenery. And of course there’s an extra dimension balancing while the sea gently rocks the boat. I often adjust where I’m standing to keep our furled foresails, the mast, or one of the sheets (lines) of our sails nearby to help me steady.
Synergy starts with a chant: Oh Spirit, All the Great Ones, bless us in our efforts to prepare body and mind, that the soul may advance to Thee. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti, Om Peace Peace Peace.
Here are the postures making up the Synergy Yoga flow:
Standing Postures ( about 60 minutes)
Standing Deep Breathing Pranayama
Sun Salutation Soorya Namaskar
Half Moon Pose Series Arda Chandrasana with Pada Hastasana
Awkward Pose Utkatasana
Eagle Pose Garurasana
Standing Yoga Mudra Yoga Standing Head to Knee Pose (in 3 parts) Dandayamana Janushirasana
Standing Bow Pulling Dandayamana Dhanurasana
Balancing Stick Pose Tuladandasana
Advanced Balancing Stick Poorna Tuladandasana
Standing Separate Leg Stretching Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimotthanasana
Triangle Pose Trikonasana
Standing Separate Leg Stretching head to Knee Pose Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana
Tree Pose Tadasana
Pillar Pose Stambhasana
Corpse Pose Savasana
Wind Removing Pose Pavanamuktasana
Cobra Pose Bhujangasana
Half Locust Pose Ardha Salabhasana, Locust Salabhasana
Full Locust Pose Poorna Salabhasana
Bow Pose Dhanurasana
Fixed Firm Pose Supta Vajrasana
Half Tortoise Ardha Kurmasana
Camel Pose Ustrasana
Rabbit Pose Sasangasana
Lion Pose Simhasana with Energizing: Tensing Whole Body
Rotated Separate Leg Stretching Parivrtta Janushirasana
Head to Knee Pose Janushirasana
Forward Stretching Pose Paschimotthanasana
Spine Twisting Pose Ardha Matsyendrasana
Blowing in Fixed Firm Pose Kapalabhati in Vajrasana
Corpse Pose Savasana
Alternate Nostril Breathing Anulom Viloma
End with Om Shanti Shanti Shanti