I thought I knew what beach yoga would be like- yoga on a beach towel, listening to the ocean.
In actuality, I found myself standing on one leg, hands in the air, yelling my favorite kind of sandwich to my mat neighbors.
NJ Beach Yoga, owned by Teri O’Connor, has yoga classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7:30 at JFK Beach throughout the summer and into the shoulder seasons.
As I hopped around my towel, trying to focus, I heard a yell of “dolphins!”
I was in a dilemma – do I peek around other people to try and watch the dolphins, or do stay with the class and do the next pose?
I felt like dolphins were the better choice. You can do yoga almost any time; you can’t always see dolphins.
I missed the dolphins the first time, but saw them the second time they were spotted.
I managed to settle in until I saw the bulldozer coming at us. Looking around, I wondered why no one was concerned.
Just the beach cleaner.
Yoga was really fun. It wasn’t anything that I saw in a traditional yoga class. There were no props (there really wasn’t a need for them). I had my feet crossed and spun around like a ballerina in a jewelry box. If you stumbled, the sand was there to catch you.
After a while, I started to hear a strange loud buzzing noise. My first thought was that this was the killer wasps or murder hornets as it were. After all, it is 2020.
Looking up, I discovered that it was just a drone taking pictures and videos of the class.
Child’s pose ended with a sandy forehead.
Constructive resting pose led to reclined butterfly which then led to savasana. Laying on my back, I actually felt that the sand gave me enough low back support to feel comfortable and listen to the ocean.
Eventually, I was drawing a heart with my feet while being told “You are amazing!”
At the end of class, you are invited to go up front and pick out a clam shell. Each shell has something written on it. Glancing down, I started reading the shells upside down. I felt drawn to one the simply said “Grace”.
If you are wanting to spend some quality time in the sand, you still have a few opportunities.
“As of now, I’m planning on October to be here every Friday morning at 7:30am and to start the first two weeks with a Monday and Wednesday morning class to see what happens. I do offer some Wednesday evening pop-up classes at 6pm but I do those on 5th Street because it’s usually less crowded,” said Teri.
In order to comply with social distancing, you have to sign up online the day before you go to class. You will have to sign a waiver saying that you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms. You have to sign in wearing a mask. All of Teri’s helpers have masks on. Once you are checked off, there will be someone waiting in the sand to make sure you are socially distanced but also can see Teri. The class is an hour along for all levels.
Usually, Teri goes inside when weather gets cooler.
“We’re hoping the Sea Isle Community Lodge opens up,” said Teri. “I’m literally going with the flow.”