Down the Stream
Yoga has moved
from terra firma to water, and the result is a new dimension in
tapping into oneís core.
flexibility, strength and balance while serenely floating in an
outdoor environment is a challenge worth taking, says longtime yoga
instructor Trish Washburn of Soleil Lune Yoga in Oconomowoc. A 14-year
instructor, Washburn is moving into her third year teaching paddle
board yoga on Silver Lake.
you are on a board, you are farther away from each other in your own
space," she says. Washburn notes that some yoga postures may be
more easily achieved on water, even with the specter of losing balance
and getting wet. "Itís very relaxing, nurturing and fun,"
Washburn says. "There is something to be said about connecting
with nature in a new way."
avoid extreme weather, a gentle rain, moderate wind and temperature
changes add renewed texture to each experience.
yoga, with origins traced to surfers, now attracts a wide spectrum of
individuals and families. "Those who never have done yoga are
attracted to this, and a lot of people who have practiced traditional
yoga see this as an extension of that experience," she says.
Joyce Brahm of
Dousman fits into the latter category. "I started yoga two years
ago, and I really enjoyed it," Brahm says. "Last summer, I
took a couple of paddle board classes thinking it would be a different
type of challenge. I wound up buying a paddleboard."
Brahm shares she
was pleased to learn she would not be constantly wet while mastering
the water-bound board. "Itís actually easier than I thought it
would be," she says. "I had never been on a paddle board
before, let alone doing yoga on one. The best thing is that no one is
experience, she says, makes a difference. "For those connected to
the outdoors, itís a beautiful spiritual connection. A whole new
introductory classes and paddle boards are available for those who donít
own the equipment. "We want to introduce this new form of yoga in
a way that will make anyone comfortable," she says. More
information about paddle board yoga can be found at soleilluneyoga.com.
For those who
prefer their water sports on the extreme side, there is flyboarding,
where one can have the best of two worlds ó balancing a story or
more above the waterís surface or dive and rise, skipping the
surface like a dolphin.
becoming popular on local lakes, thanks to adventurers like Tyler
Bradfield. The owner of Elevate Flyboarding grew up in Horicon honing
his love of extreme sports. He winters in Hawaii and returns to the
Milwaukee area in summer to teach flyboarding on a broad array of
lakes, including Pewaukee, Okauchee, Nagawicka, Oconomowoc, Lac La
Belle and Michigan.
In essence, a
flyboarder rides on a skateboard-style platform attached to a hose
that feeds high-pressured water from a ski jet. The result is that one
can use the pressure to balance high above the lake and, if desired,
dive into the water, maneuvering under and flipping out. The sport can
be done alone or as a high-wire group act.
Though it looks
daunting, Bradfield said flyboarding is not difficult to learn and not
as extreme as it appears. "A lot of people say Ďthatís crazy,
I donít know if I can do it,í but itís exhilarating and exciting
and I can teach you to do it in less than an hour," Bradfield
says. "Itís really easy to learn."
high-flying adventure of it all, Bradfield says he requires all
newbies ó kids who are at least 100 pounds to older adults of up to
70 years old ó to wear helmets and life vests.
flyboarding equipment has evolved from a back-strapped jet pack and
probably will evolve even further, he says. "Using ski jets is
the latest form. I think the shelf life will be about five years and
then something else will come along."
change is that there will always be people seeking new adventure. It
also means that they will have a choice of people like Bradfield
willing to teach. Those who want to check out the sport through
Bradfield can do so by visiting elevateflyboarding.com. M