“That was good yoga”
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A wise old man: 89 years young from New York – a seasonal resident on the San Salvador beach, a musician and a photographer.
A traveler: A life traveler, artist, lover of dolphins, sea turtles and pelicans from El Salvador.
A teacher: Traveling yoga teacher, lover of humans and earth, from Seattle, USA.
The wise man, the traveler and the teacher take a walk on the beach…..
Walking for exercise. An alternative ‘yoga’ of sorts. A little strength training for the wise old man because we all know that what you eat and what you do matters- but at 89 years young what you eat and what you do take on a whole new meaning.
So this day they walked. To strengthen the wise man’s legs and balance. And talked. To expand their souls. Talked of the crazy that all humans carry inside them. And the beauty of the crazy – if they are open to allowing it to pass through and become something beautiful to give back to the world. They talked of the ugly power that shame and guilt can command. They talked of what can and can’t go with them when we die, of what the ‘good life’ looks like. Of trees and dirt, oxygen and food and not being able to ‘eat money’.
Soon the wise old man re-tells a version of a fisherman’s tale…. A fisherman out catching a fish, when asked what he was going to do after catching his fish he says “I will cook it, eat it, sit on the beach, play my guitar…” the other person follows with ‘you could catch more, sell them, create a distribution system, make a lot of money, be in a beautiful office all day. Then you can retire and sit on the beach and fish, and play music all day. It will be wonderful…”
The teacher looks towards the life traveler and says – “That is him. He is choosing that path. The one mostly free from the system. The money. The control.” The traveler responds with a laugh “That is what my mother always says to me. Stop traveling get a job. Then take vacation.”
Silently, the walk continues, with some reflection on choices and expectations of this life. Soon the teachers asks the wise man “When was the last time you swam?”
“Oh, too long, my balance and my strength, I cannot get in the water.”
“But today you have support, two of us with you, today we walk in the water”.
The teacher is convinced she will maintain some control – only go in knee deep, keep her clothes dry, quick walk…Minutes later control is lost. All three are wet, letting the waves crash over them, laughing, supporting the old wise man as the waves threaten to ‘win’.
Emerging from the water they are greeted by a fishing boat full of giant fresh shrimp, soon to be lunch.
On the walk back, the conversation turns to “Earth School”. The hardness and the beauty of what life ‘gifts’ us. We laugh. We don’t know shit. As soon a we think we understand something we are presented with a contradictory lesson to confuse us. We return to thoughts of ‘our crazy’ and our life choices.
Upon returning ‘home’ with ‘lunch’, the wise man looks to the teacher with a laugh “That was good yoga.”