FRI Oct 27th, 2006
High Stress Areas of San Francisco
Corner of Market & Embarcadero
I achieved 'Hammock Enlightenment' a few years ago. It occurred during one of the (YES) Yoga Ecology Surf Retreats that I was leading in Costa Rica when I sat in a hammock, I was as close to the yogic ideal as I had ever been.
Something happened during that classic yoga pose which I now refer to as 'Hammock Asana.' Places where I had been holding tension my body melted like ice cream in the warm tropical sun. Unconsciously I exhaled a few deep sighs of release. My heart rate became slower. I became more aware of the smallest details of life, the sounds of birds, the whirl of activity from the army of ants below me. Even the incessant hammering of construction workers who were turning this small chunk of Costa Rican Wilderness into a virtual human ant hill called a condo complex, seemed to be part of the melodious interplay of life. All of life's complications washed away leaving me to feel the care free part of myself that is free of the limitations of time and worry. I was there. I became enlightened.
This is the goal of the yogi too. To feel that joy that comes when we can truly be fully grounded in our bodies and relaxed and alert to all that is happening around us.
I felt the magic of what the Natives of Mexico, Central and South America had found as they sat in their relaxation slings made out of the bark of the Hamak Tree. I realized that we are so shaped by "New World" values of productivity and commerce that in the process we have forgotten the art of relaxation. "What is the price we pay for this?" I pondered. Ill health, disconnection from the our bodies, our families and the planet.
I imagined what early explorers must have thought when they arrived in the Caribbean to find a whole culture who cherished the value of afternoon siestas, relaxation and enjoyment of life. I realized that the way history has actually transpired that this ability to relax is a far greater asset than all the gold, spice and gems that the original explorers were looking for.
As I took my Hammock Asana Posture outside my cabina faithfully everyday, I thought about what a better world it could be if we could sit in a hammock every afternoon and watch the clouds drift by even for 5 minutes before going back to our daily activities. Since I didn't have the budget to bring Vancouver to a YES Retreat in Costa Rica, I thought, why don't I bring the hammocks to Vancouver. Thus was born the idea of Spontaneous Relaxation Sites.
We have assembled a festive crew called the 'Bliss Army' whose motto is "Chillin' me with Kindness." On Fri August 25th we are setting up hammocks made in India in key, "high-stress" areas of Vancouver. We also want to provide post cards for people to write that one card to that someone in their life that they have been thinking every day but have been too busy to connect with.
If you want to join the Bliss Army, send us an email. If you want to be a willing hammock participant, come on downtown tomorrow. We are hoping to spread these Spontaneous Relaxation Sites to other cities in the future.
If you want to experience the real magic of hammocks, come on the YES Retreat this Feb 17-23 to Costa Rica.