May 4, 2012

Limoncello is the new Yoga.

Photo: Kudumomo

There are only so many times I can say “downward facing dog” before I go crazy.

I needed a vacation bad and I was hoping my two weeks on the Amalfi Coast would cure this yogic slump of mine.

For weeks leading up to my trip, I had been waxing poetic about practicing yoga overlooking the Mediterranean. I fantasized about my imaginary Italian yoga instructor, and the smell of  lemons wafting through the studio windows. In my mind, it was the perfect setting to find inspiration again. Heck, I even bought one of those travel yoga mats.

In preparation for my trip I googled “Yoga Studios on the Amalfi Coast,” and in response to someone else’s good-natured search for the same thing, this is what I found:

“Can’t you just relax with some limoncello for a week? Swim in the Med? I’m sure your chakras won’t close up by the time you get back to your ashram.”

Well, then. Point taken. Could I go two weeks without yoga class? Would I lose the ability to stand on my head? Would I forget how to breathe? Would I feel totally disconnected from myself?

I decided to pack my mat, just in case.

Turns out, I never unpacked it and that was probably the most “yogic” thing I could have ever done.

My yoga practice didn’t need a mat, a downward dog, or an Italian yoga instructor. It needed permission to step off the mat and embrace, fully, the experiences surrounding me.

And embrace them I did.

One bottle of wine at a time.

One walk along the lemon groves at a time.

One bowl of pasta at a time.

One photo-op at a time.

One scary, hairpin turning coastal drive at a time.

One walk on the beach at a time.

One scoop of gelato at a time.

One breath of the sea air at a time.

One beautifully sunny day at a time.

One walk along the cobble-stoned streets at a time.

One sip of Limoncello at a time.


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Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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Laurie Jordan

Laurie Jordan is the author of YAWNING YOGA: A GOODNIGHT BOOK FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP based on her successful bedtime yoga series, Yawning Yoga and the creator of Little Sprouts Yoga for kids. She has a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work and is a certified yoga instructor for children and adults. Find her yoga practice here.

Laurie took her first yoga class when she was 15 but the experience left a nasty taste in her mouth. She was kicked out for laughing at the instructors mantra, “feel the honey golden light in your…unmentionables” Eeww.

Who would have thought that all these years later, that “honey golden” moment would be the one that influences her teaching the most? (Or at the very least, that it serves as a reminder to never say anything as hippy- dippy and dorky as that–and to always, always keep it real.)