Riding the waves when times are tough

Riding the waves when times are tough

Some phases of our lives are particularly tough. Life is unexpected, and we can never predict how external events will inlfuence what happens to us. I have often told my students to think of the circumastances in our lives as the ocean, where at times it’s all smooth, calm and reflective and at other times there are plenty of storms and big waves that seem to want to drown us.

Having a practice or discipline such as yoga, running, art etc. allows us find grounding, a reminder of who we really are. The practice is like the board to the surfer, stay with it and you can ride the ups and downs of life. Yoga is definitely my surfboard – when I unroll my mat, spread my toes and stretch up throuh my finger tips, I feel my chest expand, my lungs fill up and all of a sudden I feel so utterly alive and grateful to be alive… I am reminded that I am ok, I am me, and if nothing else, as long as I just keep breathing then that is fine for the moment.


The past 12 months have been particularly stormy for me (hence the lack of blog posts). I have at times doubted everything, wanted to give up and stopped trusting. I even stopped my personal yoga practice just when I needed it most. Funnily enough, I realised that yoga would help me feel better, yet I didn’t feel I deserved to feel better. How bizarre that as humans think we at times think we ‘ought’ not to feel happy or ok.

Then last week on a visit to South Africa to catch up with family and friends, I arrived in Cape Town and spent the day on Camps Bay beach with my cousin. Armed with my camera, and cheered up by the good company and golden light on the beach, my cousin turned my camera on me, and I decided to be brave enough to strike some poses on the rocks

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with the waves swirling around me. How good it felt to find the focus, the breathing and the trust in myself to balance amongst the surroundings.

A few silly moments striking a few poses turned into a reminder that it’s ok to feel ok. So this morning again, I unrolled my mat and for a whole 50 minutes I allowed myself to feel ok. Just riding the waves.