photos by ann coen
After many years of practicing and studying yoga all over this gorgeous country and massive planet, I’ve planted some solid roots right here on this sweet island, LBI. Every summer I land back here to share all the goodness and magic I’ve picked up along the way.
I believe yoga is an invitation to your highest most vibrant self. Yoga is one great act of self-care that allows us to create harmony amongst all parts—of our bodies, our systems, our lives, our relationships. It’s an unlearning, a reorganizing, a bliss-inducing practice that invites us to find more joy in our lives, to find deeper connections with our surroundings and one another, and to simply be more amazing to each other.
I have also been massaging some of my clients here on LBI for over 10 years now, driving from Beach Haven to Barnegat Light, schlepping my massage table up three flights of stairs, to help my people soften and feel their best. All the while, I’ve been baking up the sweetest-of-sweet, organic, vegan (gluten-free when needed) baked goodies with my baking business, Passion Flour Bakery.
What a gift to share with you what I find so dear to my heart, and believe to be so imperative to our health and vibrancy of our lives!
My message to you all, please, take care of yourself this season. Create time for yoga and more play! Take your bliss into the world. Collect shells and paint them with your friends; plant veggies; pick flowers and a make a mandala out of them; play hopscotch; do cartwheels on the beach; have a dance party in your kitchen with your bestie; pause and take some deep breaths when you can; and love the heck out of one another. Celebrate, collaborate and smile at a stranger!
Yoga Practice on the beach
Meditation as Medicine
Sit. Draw in a tender breathe to let the fresh salty oxygen swim deep into your lungs. Breathe out all that’s in your way of being, right here, right now. Point your spine lovingly to the big blue sky. Whatever comes up, nurture it. Whatever leaves you, set it free with a kiss. Cry if you need, tears as salty as the ocean washing you clean, my loves. Breathe, be you, become the love that you are. We are all learning to share ourselves from this place, of pure, good, delicious love.
Standing Heart to the Sea and Sun Pose
Plant your feet softly into the sand, spread the bones of your feet, connect. Utilize the Earth energy underneath your feet so your heart can rise effortlessly. Bright lungs, bright eyes, bright heart. Breathe. What a blessing to feel the warmth of the sun and ocean breezes on your skin! Happy heart.
Delicious Down Dog
Palms spread wide into the sand, use the underside of your knuckles more that your wrists. Lift your heels and widen the balls of your feet, bend your knees and send your pelvic floor to the sky. This juicy version of Down Dog brings a beautiful flushing to the lower body. It helps to amplify the amount of oxygen we are receiving into the lungs, and lets our heart’s wisdom pour into our brains. Breathe in through your nose, and let it go with a nice big sigh out of your mouth. Connected, open, free. Root down as much as you rise up, making space in all of your organs. Spacious, loving, delicious.
Lift Your Beautiful Face Upward Dog Pose
Switching it up a little bit here, from your Down Dog, pump yourself forward all the way into an up dog shape, keeping the balls of your feet on the ground, toes tucked, heals lifted. Ignite and light up the soles of your feet, and lift your lungs/chest all the way out in front of you. Take a huge, bright breath from the bottom of your pelvic floor to the center of your chest. Shine, receive, breathe. Vibrant lungs, vibrant gaze, keeping your vision high for yourself and others. Smile at the beauty within you and around you.
Something Like a Warrior II with Fun Arms
Step your feet into a solid Warrior Two pose. Plug your feet into the sand and find a place that makes sense for your feet. Steady, sturdy, supported. Now, sneak your front foot back about an inch or so and lift your heal, like you're wearing a high heel. Ball of your foot in sweet alignment with your front knee. Lift your arms like wings and seal the outer wrists together, hands in jnana mudra. Let your heart float in space tilting a smidgen towards the sun. Let the wings of your heart fly with the ocean breeze. Spacious, strong, able to love with wild abandon, yet grounded in your own life.