Friday, July 17, 2009
Camping, Day 1 (This post was written and posted on my return)
By nature, I'm a planner. I like all my ducks in a row before I march them, in tight formation, into the Wild Blue Yonder. The beginning of any adventure involves lists, many lists. I was consulting my lists right up until the moment we left the city and I was having a *great* time. I love a good list! I picked up our rental car in the morning, right on schedule, loaded it with carefully packed provisions and we were on the road within an hour.
It was great! I did all the driving. For all my mutterings about automobiles and the environment and eensy weensy carbon footprints, I absolutely LOVE to drive. It's my secret shame. I haven't owned a car in over 10 years, but I frequently get driving envy. Driving down an open highway on a sunny day evokes fond memories of my wild and crazy 20s, when I zipped around the eastern United States for my job. Road trips make me happy.
It took us three hours to reach the camp ground and I was in a good mood. It had been overcast all day, but as we pulled into the entrance, the clouds parted to reveal sunshine. Setting up camp took just over an hour, including the tarp over the picnic table (which we would need later on that night because it rained).
And then it was time for fun! The possibilities were endless. A swim, perhaps? Kayaking? Maybe a hike in the woods? No, none of those. I wanted to do yoga.
We headed down to the lake and as my travelling companion headed to the beach, I unrolled my mat at an overlook with a view of the water.
So far, so good. I started my sun salutations, but I soon realized that I was attracting some annoying visitors: mosquitoes the size of small dogs were converging on my exposed flesh. ARGH!
(Mosquitos don't tend to bite me. I'm told this is because I don't eat red meat or chicken. However, they do like to buzz around, land on me and check out the lay of the land. They were driving me NUTS. Near the end of the weekend, they started to overcome their abhorrence of my eating habits and bite me in earnest. Still, I only have about 5 bits to everyone else's 50. I totally lucked out.)
After the standing poses, I needed a break. It's more than enough for me to try to focus on Ujjayi breathing, the Bandhas, and my Drishte without the additional concern of slapping the bugs off my legs and shoulders. We walked back to the campground and it was better there. I managed to finish my practice with minimal slapping.
All weekend, I practised the full Primary Series with some modifications. The main change I made was skipping Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana. I've become less squeamish over the years and it no longer bothers me if my mat gets a bit dirty. But skidding my heels into the rough dirt of the campsite triggered fastidious overload and my Princess Gene kicked in. I did Yin Butterfly instead. I also skipped Setu Bandhasana because I'm going through a phase of hating that pose and I wasn't going to let Setu ruin my vacation.
Sirsasana was a blast. Practising outdoors has given my confidence a boost in this pose and I came up into it smoothly (the dog is completely unimpressed).
I did Savasana in the tent while the mosquitos bashed themselves against the mesh in frustration.