Yoga & Rowing ~ "Meditation in Motion"
Rowing on a sliding seat is one of the most perfect forms of exercise. The sport offers a complete body workout without the joint impact common to most forms of physical exercise. The grace, rhythm and power of this sport translate into a physical experience that is soothing and invigorating to the spirit.
Health and fitness have been top priorities in my life for as long as I can remember. And as a woman appraoching 50, I feel fortunate to have incorporated recreational rowing and yoga into my life for overall strength and wellness.
Until the last few years, jogging had always been the mainstay of my fitness routine. Chronic knee pain forced me to accept that I needed to find another aerobic activity. I knew that jogging was no longer a healthy activity for my body; the pounding and tightening of muscles and soft tissues felt counter-intuitive to what I experienced in my yoga practice. As a yoga teacher and student I have learned to listen to and respect my body. I encourage my students to do the same.
I never “enjoyed” exercising at a fitness club but forced myself to do so, despite the fact that I was not having fun and so much missed the outdoor experience. I tried cycling yet felt that my upper body was being neglected and also felt at risk for a serious accident. With walking, I missed the “high” that I gained from pounding the pavement. Kayaking didn't offer a full body cardiovascular experience. The sport of recreational rowing came into my life when I was at a crossroads and it was the result of an unexpected and fortuitous encounter with Lorna Martin Perry, pictured below. Lorna's father, Arthur Martin, developed the Alden Rowing Shell back in the early 70's. Arthur is considered to be the father of recreational rowing. Before I knew it, I was enjoying my first sculling lesson in November!
Lorna Martin Perry pictured enjoying the sport of recreational rowing.
I have come to experience the similarities and differences between rowing and yoga; both offer a full body experience while developing strength and power with a gracefulness and rhythm that is aesthetically pleasing. Yoga is typically practiced indoors in an environment that is warm, comfortable and safe. Yoga improves one's level of flexibility and range of motion while alleviating the stiffness, and pain common to aging. The sport of rowing offers a tremendous aerobic workout and takes place outdoors where one is always subject to the powerful and unpredictable elements of nature. There is a need for the rower as well as the yoga practitioner to be fully present in the moment in order to remain safe and responsible.
I am proud to be representing Alden Rowing. I am grateful to be rowing a shell that offers so much in the form of stability, durability, performance and fun! Rowing is an enjoyable way to gain cardiovascular fitness while having the opportunity to commune with nature. Yoga and rowing make for me the perfect union!
To learn more about Alden Rowing shells and the sport of recreational rowing, you can visit my website at www.seacoastsculling.com.
Nancy Friedman, Yoga Instructor ~ (207) 251-3113