ONE OF THE MOST FITTING POSTURES to practice on the water is mermaid pose – Naginyasana. Much like warrior one and two, there is a sense of
personal empowerment that comes from fl oating on the water in the full or even partial expression of mermaid. If pigeon is not a regular part of your practice, move slowly and only far enough to feel a deep, comfortable stretch. Practice this series at home on your mat prior to trying it on the water. Begin with a warm-up paddle of twenty or thirty minutes to get your heart rate up and find your place on the water. Anchoring your board is important in the
beginning to reduce distractions.
Begin in downward facing dog and take a few deep breaths. On the exhale, move your left knee toward your left wrist, placing your left shin in a diagonal line across your board. Your right leg will stay back, with your right foot aligned straight behind you. Keep your gaze forward and your hips even and square, activating your legs and core to assist in grounding you and maintaining balance. Both hands should still be firmly placed on your board in front of you.
You can maintain at this point, enjoying the stretch before moving slowly back into downward dog and repeating on the other side. If you feel stable and ready to take the pose further, reach back with your right hand for your right foot as your left hand stays on your board by your left knee. Slide your right foot along the inside of your right forearm until you can hold it in your elbow crease and press with your foot to maintain its position.
Move slowly to avoid straining your hips, knee or shoulder while allowing your knee to flex and your quadriceps to lengthen. Inhale and bring your left hand off the board to grasp the right hand in front of your chest.
On the exhale, release your hands, keeping your right arm in position to maintain the right foot. On your next inhale, slowly reach your left hand behind your head to grasp the right hand as it tilts upward towards the sky, turning your torso toward the front of your board and tapping into your inner mermaid.