May 20, 2013

10 Lessons from My Yoga Travels. ~ Lucy St. John

Gaining Yogic Wisdom While Sailing Down the Pacific West Coast.

I’m a little bit of everything; a yogi, sailor and teacher.

In October, I sailed from Vancouver, Canada to Ensenada, Mexico to travel and teach yogic knowledge.

When I enrolled at a new studio that was close to the boat before leaving, I thought it would be fun and help keep up my daily practice, to go to as many yoga studios as possible while sailing.

Due to the physical demands and tight quarters of boat life, yoga became essential. I took whatever was offered, knowing that each experience would enrich me—I just didn’t know how much.

Here’s my story and the treasures I found:

Lesson 1:

Every teacher has something to teach you. There wasn’t one class where I said, “Yeah, been there, done that.”

I’ve been doing yoga for 12 years—and I had plenty of a-ha moments along the way.

The most memorable one: Stop defining your body as pretty toes or flabby elbows. Instead, explore your movement without the weight of your ideas.

Lesson 2:

Try every type of yoga. Be flexible, open and feel free to mix it up.

As soon as you think one type of yoga is better than another is the moment you’ve lost sight of what yoga is about; the curiosity of the present moment.

I admit, I was scared to try Ashtanga, but it was the only studio for miles. Of course, I loved it. And then I became an Iyengar enthusiast after one class and decided nothing else was as good until I ended up in a pilates class.

Uh-hum: core.

Next a yin class came, never what I want but always what I need.

I wandered into a Prana Flow workshop and fell in love with vinyasa again.

Hatha, my old friend and acro, my new best friend.

My journey concluded with teacher training in a Kundalini/Anusara/Dharma Mittra mash-up. And I’ve still a got few more to try.

Lesson 3:

Home is where the heart is.

Yogis are my people. Walking into yoga studios always made me feel like I found my home away from home. When I told my story at the studios, people were super inspired and I received tons of affirmation along the way.

Lesson 4:

Consistency is change.

Yogis know that what you put into something will eventually grow. It can often feel like you’re going backwards but consistency has its rewards and I don’t mean finally getting a pose like handstand.

I mean, heightened awareness of the Self. In the words of Pattabhi Jois, “with practice, all is coming”.

Lesson 5:

I’m always better on the other side of a class.

It doesn’t mean that frustrations, fears, and negativity don’t come up for me through the process but just showing up and creating inner space, is like a prayer answered.

Lesson 6:

Presence is the point.

I noticed that after each new class, I often said: “That was the best class I’ve been too!” Gratitude for the present moment is what made me say this again and again.

Lesson 7:

Make the practice your own.

I have the final say in how I am feeling and how far I should go in a pose. Sometimes I find silence even in big, loud classes and sometimes big, loud, full class is exactly what I need.

You know what song I heard the most? Finally Moving by Pretty Lights

Lesson 8:

There’s no place like home.

Missing my hometown studio showed me what a supportive community I have. Queen of Hearts Gloria Latham, Rasta/DJ Reno Muez, Bernie Clark; our living Yin Master, Clara Roberts﷓Oss; Lila of chaturanga alignment, Carina; Darshan donor and Cameron; quantum physics professor and so many more. Thanks to Everyone at Semperviva inVancouver!

Lesson 9:

The most powerful yoga happens off the mat!

When you integrate yoga off the mat, you live life as a participant. Setting boundaries with your boss or affirming your child’s being-ness is yoga. You use the same principles of flexibility and strength. I was often reminded of this even while I was teaching it.

Lesson 10:

Wherever you go, there you are.

The world is my Ashram because I practice wherever I am. All the temples along the way served to remind me of what I’ve always known.

My true self is oneness and each breath has the capacity, whether I’m on the mat or off, to take me there!

Thank you to each and every studio I passed through (especially Namaste in San Diego, The Yoga Center of Morro Bay,  and the Costa Rica Yoga Spa).


Yoga teacher Lucy St. John offers the ancient teachings of Vedanta weaved with story for the contemporary yogi. The Holistic Integrated Health courses teach fun and practical tools to facilitate living the life that you desire. Integrating yoga off the mat has helped me to answer the questions she went to India for: What are the yogis laughing about? Find out more at www.integratehealthcourse.com.



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Assistant Ed: Christa Angelo/Ed: Bryonie Wise

Source: worldtourstories.com via Carsten on Pinterest



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