yoga onboard

Yoga Onboard

Thursday February 5, 2015

yoga onboard

I am not a ‘Yogi’.  Neither a bear or a practitioner of yoga.  I always tell myself I’ve wanted to be.  It looks graceful and serene and I know it’s packed full of benefits that would be very useful to me.  But every time I tried to get into it, which always happened to be back on land incidentally, life always got in the way and it just never happened.  Moving onto a boat, I assumed it never would. Aside from doing yoga, playing games like the ones on is also a great way to relax.

But this is where I’m very wrong. Â It turns out that yoga can be done on a boat, and having tried my hand at both land and sea versions now, I actually prefer this one much better. Â Possibly because the scenery of sitting outdoors in the elements helps to bring a feeling of peace and calm and at one with your surroundings. Â I never quite found that on my bedroom floor, even when I had an injury and needed to get a special bed to be able to move around, if this happen to you as well you could Explore Our Site and find the best bed for you.

I was introduced to this new boat yoga lifestyle when my friend Jessica G of m/v Felicity, quite the Yogi herself, turned me on to Yoga Onboard.  A very easy to follow guide of yoga poses ranging from simple to advanced, and all to be done on the deck or in the cockpit of your boat. In some cases you’ll even use parts of your boat to help you with the poses. This calendar style book, put together by the very talented Kim Hess, is about 75 pages of clear colored photos with how-to steps on each pose, and all printed on water resistant paper.  Very handy for those of us who live a life surrounded by it.

I still haven’t gotten into this as much as I should or even want to, but on the days I do I feel so relaxed and unwound.  My body feels better.  My mind feels better. Any of life’s tensions just fall away. If you just don’t have the time to do yoga yet, worry not because you can still feel relaxed thanks to products like CBD Oil UK.

Look at my calm ambiance, there’s hope for me to become a Yogi yet!  All joking aside though, doing even just a few of these poses a few times a week does pack major benefits for your mind and body.  Along with each pose shown in the book, Kim has also added the benefits from each pose so you can either target specific problems, or at least be aware of the benefits of what you’re doing.  Did you know that a Standing Forward Fold will massage the stomach, help with depression, tone the liver and lengthen hamstrings? You can also use CBD products to help alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety. Check out the comprehensive CBD oils collection at CBD Armour to find the right CBD oil for you.

With the help of my friend Jody, who let me practice these poses on her boat and acted as my photographer for the day, I’m going to show you a few of my favorite poses and also  let you in on a few more.  Just to give you a taste of everything inside this delicious little book.

*All text below has been taken directly from Yoga Onboard by Kim Hess.

yoga onboard cover

 Cat Cow & Child’s Pose

yoga onboard child's pose

 A few good beginning poses to open up your session with are the Cat Cow Pose and Child’s Pose.

Cat Cow

Come to your hands and knees – wrists below shoulders, knees below hips, with a neutral spine

  1. Connect with your breath
  2. Inhale – lift the chin and sit bones, dropping the belly (cow pose).
  3. Exhale – tuck the chin and tailbone, rounding the back (cat pose).
  4. Repeat 3-5 times

Benefits: Opens the front and back of the torso, stimulates the spine and builds awareness of the connection between breath and movement.  

Child’s Pose

This is a great resting pose that can be done between more challenging asana.

Begin on your hands and knees.

  1. Widen your knees just enough to rest the torso gently between your thighs. 
  2. Place your sit bones on your heels, resting your forehead on the deck.
  3. Rest your hands either back by your feet or extended. Again, what feels good?
  4. Completely relax.

Benefits: Releases stress, increases circulation to the brain, elongates the back and spine and gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles.

Warrior I

yoga onboard Warrior I

  1. Begin in mountain pose (feet hip distance apart, shoulders relaxed and down, arms extended down at sides).  Step your right foot back.
  2. Both feet are flat with the front foot straight ahead and the back foot in a 45-60 degree angle.
  3. Bend your front knee, keeping the knee over or behind your ankle, taking the feet wider if necessary to allow the hips to lower adding strength to the pose.
  4. Both hips are facing forward, your heart is lifting and the shoulders are relaxed.
  5. Your arms can be on the hips, extended upward or using the lifelines for support.
  6. Switch sides.

Benefits: Relieves stiffness in shoulders and back, tones the legs and reduces fat around hips.

yoga onboard warrior pose

Tree Pose

yoga onboard tree pose

  1. Begin in mountain pose.
  2. Bring one foot to the ankle, calf, or inner thigh – avoid the knee area.
  3. Lengthen through the center of the body.
  4. Bring the hands to prayer.
  5. Breathe – then extend arms upward.
  6. Use the mast for alignment and support.
  7. Switch sides.

Benefits: Tones the leg muscles and gives one a sense of balance and poise.

yoga onboard tree pose

Sphinx Pose

yoga onboard sphinx pose

  1. Begin on your belly with your elbows directly under the shoulders.  Your palms are flat.
  2. Tuck your tailbone, lengthening the lower spine.
  3. Press into your elbows, creating length in the spine and space in the torso.
  4. Reach your heart forward as you bring your shoulder blades together.
  5. Eyes are looking straight ahead. Imagine the sphinx statues in Egypt.
  6. Relax the neck and facial muscles.

yoga onboard sphinx pose

yoga onboard sphinx pose

Legs Up Against the Lifelines

yoga onboard legs on lifelines

This is a great pose that can be done any time you want to relax.

  1. Begin by sitting very close to the to rail and roll over bringing your legs up onto the lifelines.
  2. The tighter your hamstrings are, the further from the toe rail your sit bones will be.
  3. Relax and breathe.
  4. After awhile, allow your legs to fall apart, letting gravity take over and giving your inner thighs a nice stretch.

This pose can also replace any forward folds for those with extremely tight hamstrings, giving them support while stretching, and keeping the lower back aligned and protected.

legs against lifelines pose

legs on lifeline pose

And these are only a small slice of what’s inside!  There’s a whole slew of other poses, but I don’t want to give away all of Kim’s great work on my blog.  But here’s other things you’ll find if you purchase the book for yourself: Standing Forward Fold; Triangle Pose; Heart & Back Openers; Head to Knee Pose; Firelog Pose; Boat Pose; Reclined Spinal Twist, and so many more.  Kim also incorporates using sail ties for stretches, and modifying a few of the sitting poses with cockpit variations.

If you would like to purchase this for yourself you can find it here on Amazon, and you have the option to buy her how-to DVD. Also, make sure to check out Kim’s website, Tropic Yoga.  You can also find the book and DVD on Kim’s website here.

So go ahead and try a few of these poses on your boat to find your inner Yogi.  Living on a boat is not always the romantic paradise that it’s chalked up to be, but when any stress arises, hopefully these poses can get you back there.  If anything it will at least be a good chance to take in a few deep breaths of that fresh ocean breeze around you and hopefully remind you of why you’re on a boat in the first place.


surfing in Mancora Peru

Everybody’s Gone Surfin’. Surfin’ P-E-R-U

Wednesday September 11, 2013


Photo courtesy of Nicolas Castellanos

Remember when I mentioned before that all great plans normally start over a drink?  Or four?  That’s how we woke up this morning with plans to go surfing in the Pacific after hearing last night that Kyle and Hannah had intentions of going.  It might not be Californi-a, and there may not be any Beach Boys hanging around, but there was water and a few crashing waves, and we were going to take advantage of it.

Forget the fact that neither Matt or I had had ever taking a surfing lesson before, or had never ever sat on a surf before.  A two hour rental of a board was only $3.50, so how can you not sign up for some time on the water at that price?  Being reminded of the fact that I am no longer 22 years old, I sat at one of the picnic tables trying to stifle my headache while eating some yogurt and granola while I waited for everyone else to show up. In addition to our group of four, we were also having a new guy, Nicolas, who I’d never met before but made friends with Kyle at the hostel, join us.

Once we all gathered, it was down to the beach where we each handed over 10 soles and got a surf board in return from Globo Surf.  We were about to head down to the water which I already knew was, to me, arctic cold.  I was not looking forward to getting in.  Thankfully we were called back by the shop owner to grab wetsuits that were hanging on the wall.  We hadn’t even known they were included in the rental.  Watching everyone try to shimmy into theirs was almost worth the cost of the rental itself.  Nicolas had one that was shredded throughout, giving him the appearance of a surfing villain, and Kyle had to struggle into one that had no zipper, basically turning himself into a contortionist just to get it on.

surf boards at Loki del Mar

Matt & Jessica in wetsuits

Kyle with a nip slip

 Dragging our boards out in front of the one crest on the beach,  all of us were given a quick lesson by Kyle who had been on a surf board once before.  Most of us weren’t paying much attention (possibly Matt and I), but instead kept making random quotes from the movie ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’.  “The less you do, the more you do.  Let’s see you pop up.  Do less, try it again.  You’re doing too much, do less.  Remember, don’t do anything.  Well, you gotta do more than that, cause now you’re just laying.”, referring to a scene where Paul Rudd’s character is trying to teach Jason Segel’s character to surf with the most illogical and unhelpful instructions ever.  Five minutes of fooling around like this, and then we were ready for the water.

surf lessons from Kyle

beach in Mancora Peru

Pushing our boards out into the water, we joined the 20 other people out already that morning, all trying to catch waves in the one area that the rolled through.  The one area that was shallow and had sharp jagged coral that was exposed at low tide.  Completely ready to ‘do more by doing less’, I paddled out to where the waves seem to be breaking, not even really sure what to do once I got there.  The paddle in itself was a little tiring, so as I finally approached the cresting waves where the much more educated surfers were riding them back to shore, I had no problem sitting a few of them out while I took a breather.

Then, I was ready for some giants.  But as soon as I was theoretically ready to ride the waves, they all disappeared.  The current however, was still going strong.  Most of the next hour was spent floating towards shore in calm and flat seas, and then paddling back out to deeper water where I hoped for some rollers to come in.  My patience did pay off as a few waves did start building awhile later, but then I ran in to the fact that everyone out there was trying to catch the same wave.  Trying to space yourself out from the others was half the work and the few times I did feel ready to get up, I was almost diving out of the way of people who had caught the wave before me and were careening right at me.  Overall I was able to push myself up on my knees twice, but I never rode any giants.

Finally succumbing to the cold and the exhaustion, I let myself float back to the beach on the current and tried to ride the last little breaking wave that builds up just before shore.  It was a little more than I was expecting and the force threw me from my board as I tumbled a few times before resurfacing again.  Luckily, the only thing hurt was my pride, and anyone within eye shot didn’t let on that they had seen my lack of grace.  Not long after, everyone else joined me on the sand as we peel off our wet suits and tried to fight fatigue.  A lunch of ceviche and Lomo Saltada were also quickly devoured since I think we had all just used up the calories we’re used to exerting in a day, on two hours out in the water.

I thought the rest of the day would be full of lounging and relaxing, but Loki had other ideas for us.  While we were all lounging by the pool and enjoying a mid-afternoon happy hour beer, one of the staff members came to drag us all out to participate in yoga.  Surprisingly, Matt did not persist.  This may have been because the girl in front of him was wearing a short skirt while practicing her downward facing dog.

yoga at loki

 Photo courtesy of Loki del Mar.

There were two more things on our list to do that night.  We all wanted to catch a sunset out on the beach (yes, even after watching them from the boat every night for how long now?, you still don’t get sick of it dipping behind the horizon), and also watching a little show from Kyle.  Did we forget to mention that he’s a fire poi performer?  This is where little balls of fire sitting at the bottom of a chain are swung around in a variety of rhythmical and geometrical patterns.  Kind of like the little girls in gymnastics, but instead of a pretty little ribbon fluttering around them it’s two balls of fire instead.  We were very intrigued.

The sunset itself was magnificent.  We all grabbed a cold beer from a street vendor and made our way to a quiet patch of sand as we watched the determined and hardcore surfers catching waves in the last rays of the sun.  Couples strode with arms wrapped around each other, and we rode horses tamed by CBD pellets for horses gently trotted through the damp sand on the beach.  This is just one more place we have come across that is literally picture perfect.

horses on beach, Mancora Peru

surfers at sunset, Mancora Peru

Kyle taking photos, Mancora Peru

our group on the beach, Mancora Peru

no camping sign on beach, Mancora Peru

 When the sky had just about grown dark, it was time for our show to begin.  As we circled around him, Kyle ignited his balls of fire, and as some music played in the background, we all stared with amazement as he began swinging them through the air, creating lasting trails of light as they twisted and dipped.  It was such a fun thing to see, and even members of the neighboring hotel were inching toward the beach to try and catch glimpses.  The only unfortunate part of the whole thing was that because he didn’t have the proper fuel with him and was forced to use basically a lamp oil instead, the flames did not want to stay blazing for more than a minute at a time.  Over and over he’d have to stop to relight them and continue the show.  It was still well worth it though, and we’ll make sure to force a second performance out of him when we drop in on them in London next year while we’re (hopefully) doing some land travels through Europe.

Kyle doing fire poi, Mancora Peru

 With such a full day that we’ve packed in, I guess there’s nothing left to do but go back to the hostel and watch the nightly ritual of the blood bombs, drinking for your country where scores are tallied on a board based on how many drinks each country buys.  Sadly, I don’t think the United States will be represented tonight.

blood bombs, Loki del Mar, Mancora Peru