I'm back! A bit of a traveling has me behind and I'm currently at the airport waiting on a flight to London for a fun project! Skipping back to last weekend, the heat in New Orleans has been SO oppressive. It was getting to the point where I barely had energy to do anything and I was switching my hot yoga routine for a cycling class where bike 7 is literally right under a cool air vent. I've heard a lot about paddle boarding around New Orleans and my first thought, honestly, went straight to alligators. It's crazy to be in a city so close to the Gulf and surrounded by so much water and not much of it is usable. Swamp boarding isn't really high up on my must-do list but where there's a will there's a way. A short drive to a secret spot on the North Shore provided a little cove with still, shallow water and a decent beach surrounded by cypress trees. It's sort of incredible to experience the nature of this part of the country. It's so unique like everything New Orleans has to offer.
I hit the water with a little trepidation to be honest as my mind was thinking about how the park ranger sort of assured me that the gators stay in the ponds and don't go into the lake (which is really an estuary connected to the gulf of mexico). Then there's that story I heard about the boy getting bitten by a bull shark (!?) in shallow water around these parts. The water is brackish, a bit bath tub temperature, but Louisiana can still show off a great sunset and the moment I hit the board I felt calm. My Cancer water-sign soul had been pleased and the energy of the lapping water against the board completely refreshed my energy. That energy transfer had me feeling energized enough to try some poses and really engage my core. Even the simplest poses become extremely challenging and any inversion requires concentration and a focus on the horizon to keep steady. If you get a chance at any point to get out on a board, I promise the soreness you'll feel the next day in muscles you never knew you had will be so worth it. My goal is to land dolphin on the board, which if you've ever tried it you know that the second you try to go up the board moves forward and all stability is lost. A few poses on the board can equal a whole class worth of exercise.
- Keep a steady gaze on the horizon. It's the one steady place that will keep consistent and a great focal point to help with balance
- Focus on simple postures. Poses like Warrior I or II and tree pose become more challenging and it's fun to scale back and revisit the old favorites
- Fall in! This is a great time to try new things because the surface is so easy to land on. Just make sure to stretch and warm up before you hit the water to prevent injury.
I have a whole different post in mind about sport/swim offerings that I'm obsessed with lately that I'll save for another time! Follow on instagram to keep up with my latest adventures: @lindseycalla
Photos: Marianna Massey