Friday, May 6, 2016

That time I floated down a lazy river with my yoga friends

Today I'm sharing part two of my day visiting the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in Tulum, Mexico. Of all the amazing adventures I experienced during my yoga retreat week, floating down this ancient Mayan canal was my favorite!
After stopping at Mayan ruins and hiking through the jungle, our trail opened up to this beautiful lagoon. We enjoyed a picnic that had been packed for us by the resort where we stayed - grilled vegetable sandwiches that were so yummy! Plus fresh fruit. After lunch we climbed aboard these boats and headed out to float down the "lazy river."

I knew I was going to be around a lot of water on this trip, and I knew I'd want to take photos (obv), so I ordered this waterproof phone protector to take along. It worked out great! The rest of the photos in this post were taken with my iPhone protected by this case. I was really happy with the overall quality and the protection that the case provided for my phone.

We traveled across a large lagoon, and then through a marshy area, and finally across another lagoon. Part way through this boat trip, we stopped at this structure that had once been used for trading purposes. I found these random structures to be so fascinating, and I took a TON of photos!

After a while, our boat came to a stop at the opening of this waterway. We donned life jackets as floating devices, stepping into the arm holes with our legs instead of wearing them as upper-body-vests. This made for the perfect amount of buoyancy, as we eased our way into the water, one by one.

This waterway was created by the Mayans - a canal used to transport goods from sea to inland. I read that "local legend says that these spring-fed waters have magical healing powers" and having experienced them myself, I wouldn't doubt it!

The temperature of the water was just so perfect. Not too warm, not too cold. Goldilocks, just right! We held on to vines along the side of the canal until our entire group had made their way off the boat. And once we started floating, I never did see our boat behind us. We were on our own, floating down this lazy river with our boat driver a safe distance behind - drifting with no motor running and completely out of sight. The soft current pulled us along at the rate of about two miles per hour. Bliss and sheer perfection.

As we drifted down this waterway, there was happy chatter among us. Some of our conversations revolved around our yoga practice, and we decided it would be nice to practice a call-and-response yoga chant that our teacher Jeff leads regularly. The chant, "Om So Hum," translates from Sanskrit to English as "I am that I am" and has a hauntingly beautiful vibe to it. As we began singing the chant, time seemed to stand still. I can't recall a time when I have felt more at peace than I felt in that moment; softly drifting in that beautiful setting, surrounded by friends and fellow yogis, reminding myself, by way of a chant, that I am more than this body. I am, that I am.

The water was so clean and clear! If I stretched my toes way down toward the bottom, there were times when I could just touch the white sand below my feet. We did see a fresh-water turtle at the beginning of the float (yep - I was pretty excited!) but the fish in this area stay hidden in the plants along the side of the canal.

There were areas along the way where trees provided a beautiful canopy to float under...

These ladies were just the sweetest souls. And they traveled all the way from Alaska to be on this yoga retreat. I loved getting to know them during our week together.

After floating for about 40 minutes, we came to a shallow area with a dock. We gathered there and within a few minutes our boat arrived behind us, delivering an ice chest filled with cheese, bread and wine. Our sweet tour guide had forgotten to pack wine glasses, so we improvised. Ah! What a fun time we had, and so many sweet memories made!

Oh my goodness, this was a happy time for me.

This is a day I will always remember with such a happy heart.
That time I floated down a lazy river with my yoga friends.


Patio Postcards said...

First & most importantly - wow to the creative wine glass solution. I think just floating along in water would be wonderful & quite therapeutic, not only because of the water but because it would allow such relaxation.

This Goldilocks is going looking for a comfy spot on the patio to repeat Om So Hum. Happy weekend.

Sian said...

It looks so wonderful. I don't think I've ever actually swum in water that clear!

debs14 said...

How lovely! Love those improvised wine glasses!

Kay G. said...

Oh my, I loved floating down this river with you. You made me feel as if I were right there with you, so thank you!

Alison said...

It sounds as though you've had a wonderful time xx

Ruth said...

What a marvellous thing to experience ... and I love those wine glasses!

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