Flexibility and Strength : Folbots and Yoga Practice

Folbot Guest Blog by Lauri Nemetz, MA, BC-DMT, LCAT, ERYT

Folbot ad- Lauri’s pic and kayak on the right!

I have been fortunate to co-lead yoga/kayak trips over the past five years to Costa Rica, Canada and on the Hudson River in New York.  While I am still relatively new to kayaking, and even newer to my Folbot, there are a lot of similarities in yoga practice and kayaking.  One of the most obvious is the need to be present in the moment whether reacting to the water around you or to the mental and physical challenges we face on a daily basis.   Part of that presence comes from a combination of flexibility and strength.

Several thousand years ago, one of the pivotal texts of yoga, the Yoga Sutras, was written.  In that book, there is the description of yoga asana, or poses, as “sthira sukham asanam” or loosely translated, “there is both openness and stability in any yoga pose”.  When people think about yoga practice, they often think it is all about bendy poses.  However, mobility needs boundaries or it risks injury from lack of awareness.

Think about your kayak.  The flexibility allows a great sense of the water, and even the ability to ride waves with a sense of ease, but without a framework, all that flexibility would cause the kayak to fall apart.  In yoga practice, those “asanas” or poses are a “comfortable seat”.  When we have a strong yoga asana practice we can then sit comfortably for meditation, move comfortably in our daily lives, or for long rides in our kayaks!

Adding a yoga component to your kayaking experience is a wonderful way to work in both flexibility and strength.  Find a yoga teacher who can guide your practice and you may find your ability to kayak or enjoy other parts of your life increasing as well.

Photos courtesy of Lauri Nemetz and Eric Feinstein

Lauri Nemetz, MA, BC-DMT, LCAT, ERYT is a yoga teacher, anatomy teacher, university professor, movement therapist, artist and a mom to two wonderful boys!  She enjoys co-leading yoga/kayak trips in her “free time”.  More about Lauri (and her yoga/kayak trips) can be found on her website at www.wellnessbridge.com.

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