The Benefit of Water & Ocean activities

As a Fitness & Ocean Sport athlete, it was just a matter of time, until I write about the benefits of Water/Ocean activities. I am a happy person and, today made me realize the reason for a blissful life especially since I am spending half of my day in the water. But why is that? Listen to what our friends have to say about their water activities:

Video Benefit of Ocean Activites

So why such a strong connection? ... Let’s start from the beginning.

 

Who/what are we?

The average adult human body is 50- 65% water. Human blood has a chemical composition of 98% (similar to seawater), and our muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water.

We’re also born of the ocean. Each of us begins life floating in amniotic fluid that holds a 99% similar chemical composition to seawater. ---> We are water!

Mental performance and physical coordination decrease around 1% dehydration (before thirst kicks in). ---> We need water to perform and live!

What is the ocean ?

The ocean is about 96.5% water and 3.5% of salts and Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface. So no wonder we feel so good in the ocean!

So what really happens when we jump into the water?

It looks like I am dreamingBlossom Kite girl Suami.

Benefit of Water & Ocean activities

Physical changes with the Benefit of Water & Ocean activities

1. The Master Switch of Life

The moment you put your face into the water, your heart rate immediately decreases by 25%. Your mind will enter a meditative, almost dreamlike state. Scientists call this the mammalian diving reflex or the Master Switch of Life. These reflexes affect the brain, lungs, and heart, to protect us from underwater pressure. The same pressures on land would kill or injure us, but not in the ocean. The ocean has different rules! Read more ...

" Ca me provoque de l'adrenaline un sentiment de bien etre, relaxant ... Tu oublis beaucoup de choses. Quand tu plonges c'est vraiment relaxant". Joel Stephane works at Dominican Republic Speleological Society (DRSS)

Cave diving Joel Stephane Blossom

2. The Buoyancy

or the ability to float (here in the water) reduces the "weight" of a person by up to 90 percent (depending on body composition, muscular structure, and depth of water), which reduces stress on joints and connective tissue. Water activities (such as AquaFit) allow us to work out with low impact without hurting our joints.

3. Viscosity

On another side, a body moving through the water creates drag. In Fact, water molecules attempt to "stick" to the body, while also trying to stick to other water molecules because of the water's viscosity.

Aquafit Blossom

For the same body movement, doing it in the water will be tougher than on land because water is 790 times more viscous and provides 12 times the resistance than the air normal. Also, increasing the speed of an exercise will also increase the resistance of the exercise. This provides ways to create resistance without overloading muscles or joints. This is the reason Aqua Workout is so good and beneficial for everyone (from athletes to elderly and injured people).

4. Thermal Regulation

When the body is submerged in water, heat loss (via conduction) is 26 times higher than a similar air temperature. You are burning more calories in the water than outside. No wonder doing water activities is a great way to get fit.

Psychological effects

1. Reconnection with ourselves

In today’s world, we are overstimulated by mobile phones, emails, threats, penalties, payment, noise, and all types of stress connected to diseases. The ocean is the last quiet place on Earth, the only place to disconnect.

Surf nature Blossom Playa Encuentro Cabarete

The second you jump into the ocean your pulse will drop, this means your body will relax, and stress will dissipate. Recent reports by Anette Kjellgren and colleagues in Sweden suggest that floating in water may have beneficial therapeutic effects on mental health. “A lot of sicknesses in our society are due to stress, and there aren’t opportunities to find this stress relief in ordinary life,” says Dr. Kjellgren.

Some international research and references “BlueMind” research have been done about programs that rely on the power of water to heal people emotionally and physically.

Friend and free diver Oli Dadswell from EyeFly Films mentions "Freediving is freedom. To be able to spend time under the water in the natural environment, without being hindered by heavy equipment for breathing is incredible. Learning to master your own physiology and to be so in control of your mind is a wonderful feeling. To dive deeper and longer than you ever thought possible is simply a matter of learning to control your fears and emotions. Through meditation, you can enter a form of altered state in order to become one with the ocean."

Freediving Blossom Oli Dadswell

Research concludes that the ocean offers opportunities to de-stress, secure a sense of balance, relax and recharge.

"There’s something about spending time in the ocean that seems to nourish my spirit and reset my body and mind to a resilient & relaxed zone.  After my 1st SUP Yoga class, my mind and body felt deeply relaxed and energized at the same time.  Afterward, my mind felt clear and simple things felt more alive and fresh- from the feeling of the sand under my feet to the taste of the fruit at breakfast.  I believe the ocean can heal us in ways that we may not fully understand.  So I loved the combo of having a workout for the body & mind in the ocean.  And the best was Shavasana with our arms hanging over the side of the board, hands floating in the ocean.  Wow.  It was amazingly relaxing to be out on the water, feeling the warmth of the sun, being rocked by the movement of the waves, hearing the water, not having a care in the world, and completely letting go." Anouk Shambrook, ocean-lover, 

Yoga4SUP Blossom retreat Shavassana Cabarete

2. Feeling strong, focused, and engaged

Big waves surfer, WaterMan Dave Kalama told us: "I feel good when I'm in the ocean. I feel engaged in life when I'm in the ocean. I usually feel happy when I'm in the ocean. I feel great and it makes me happy when I get to share the ocean experience with other people."

dave Kalama fiji

Ocean sports and personal development have a lot in common. The search for pushing the limits (jumping higher, surfing bigger waves, riding faster, ...) is something athletes have been seeking and training for. Below is a picture of Keala Kennelly on a Wave in Teahupoo. Keala is an incredible female role model for surfers of all sexes and ages.

Screen-Shot-2015-07-30-at-12.49.14-PM-970x648

3. Helps integration (individual, group, and environment)

Being in the ocean helps build confidence and self-esteem. There is an interaction that contributes in a playful way, to the motivation of a group; develops social skills; develops concepts of leadership, mutual respect, and mutual help.

For Tatiana Howard "Being out on the water is one of the best things in the world for me. To jump into the ocean and rinse off all stress, worries, and ideas that accumulate in a day is so refreshing. Surfing in any form gets my body moving, fresh air in my lungs, sunshine on my face, smiles from friends, everything together wakes up my body, mind, and spirit!". Tati is the founder of The Butterfly Effect (BE), a worldwide water woman movement that brings women together in a non-competitive gathering celebrating community and love of the ocean while instilling confidence in women of all ages and skillsets. You can read more about the BE stop in Cabarete.

Be-the-effect-blossom

There is also awareness for environmental protection: finding ways of interaction with the surrounding world and understanding the importance of preserving the natural integrity of the ocean and coastlines. To have healthy oceans we need healthy marine wildlife. Below is a picture of Audrey Meyer paddleboarding quietly alongside a female whale on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.

whales SUP Audrey meyer blossom

There are many organizations out there that are genuinely dedicated to preserving the health of our world's oceans: Save our SurfOcean ConservancyCousteau Society, the Sea Shepherd Conservation SocietySurfrider FoundationSurfers Against SewageGreenpeace, and many more.

4. Feeling high "Stoked" (euphoria)

We all know that adrenaline gives your this buzz, but there is nothing like coming out of the water after a great session. Adrenaline is another word for the hormone epinephrine, part of the brain's response to exercise.

A great video on Fox 11 Los Angeles of a surfer in CA telling us about how he feels after his surf session.

The brain is a complex structure and we don't fully understand it. Every surfer knows the feeling of "surf stoke"! While surfing, we experience elevated levels of Adrenalin and Dopamine.

Research suggests these persistent effects of surf euphoria may be attributed to an unlikely candidate: sea spray. Some scientists are convinced this abundance of negative ions has a positive effect on mood by triggering the release of endorphins and serotonin – the “happy hormones” – and increasing blood flow and oxygen circulation through our bodies. Read more

5. Sharing the emotions

Spreading happiness, sharing feelings, emotions, achievement, there is something about doing it in the ocean with someone else.

"My best session is a session with my friends". Audrey Meyer

Audrey & Jens SUP2

We want to thank all our ocean, water sports friends who contributed to this article. We wouldn't have so much fun in the water without you, thank you:

At Blossom, we believe in the benefits of the ocean and water activities that improve our health and wellbeing. We love what we do. Join us!


Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself ...

Research on meditation has shown significant improvements in focus, memory, health, happiness, emotional resilience, emotional intelligence, ADHD, depression, anxiety, improvement in kindness and compassion The Gift of Silence. Athletes, schools, companies have been training their employer (google, Ford, Apple, Adiddas, yahoo...) have been doing it. Nick Seaver stepped away from a busy professional life, and spent 18 months in the Rocky Mountains with his wife, in full time silent retreat, as part of the first major scientific study on meditation. Please watch Nick's talk, given at a TEDx event where he beautifully articulate the benefits, and relevance of meditation, for ourselves and for the world! 10 minutes a day has a big impact on the brain and on the body, and how we experience the world. Why should anyone do this? The Gift of Silence Read how meditation changes our life ! If this link doesnt work click HERE http://www.blossomretreat.com/blog/meditation-changed-our-life-and-can-change-yours/2601.html  

The Gift of Silence.


SUP Yoga is a mixed of Paddle boarding, fitness, wellness, happiness and bliss. The peacefulness of floating on the water combines nicely with the meditative nature of yoga. We were so lucky to have some of the best conditions this morning. Perfect glassy flat ocean ! Thanks to Rou Chater for the amazing pictures. Looking forward to try Yoga4SUP ? Reserve a private class any time during the week or join our SUP Yoga class on Sunday mornings.

Audrey

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For more information, go to

www.Yoga4SUP.com

Yoga4SUP is brought to you by Cabarete-SUP,

The Dominican Republic North Shore’s original stand up paddle school

Lessons- rentals – retails – coastal adventures

 Sup yoga

  know the 21dayfix

We are excited to announce the #LoveWater campaign as part of this year’s World Water Day on March 22, uniting millions across the world to raise awareness about the sacred nature of water, our most precious resource.

Blossom invites You, "Water Lovers" to join us on March 22nd, for the World Water energy day in Dominican Republic for a global meditation and wave of actions.

Day: March 22, 2015 Time: 6:00 pm Place: Kitebeach, dare2fly / or ocean (for those who wants to get wet), Cabarete, Dominican Republic
 
 

Meditate, Swim, paddle into the ocean and take action together to create lasting change.

Take your surfboard, paddle board in the ocean if you want. Water energy Let's  bring the community together to #LoveWater and create a ripple around the planet. Water is the secret element that makes all life possible for humanity, for plants and for animals. Too often we take this precious resource for granted, we have polluted almost 95 % of all fresh water of the planets. The planet needs our help! So stand united with those who truly care.

Everyone, Everywhere, Together.

Love Water is open to everyone from every culture and tradition.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

"Together, our Unity, our Intention will ripple to every corner of the Earth. Transform our Relationship to Water. Forever " You can read more this world wide event: https://www.facebook.com/events/857531157621418/ and  http://unify.org

Earth my Body, Water my Blood, Air my Breath and Fire my Spirit!.

with love Blossom.


We are so happy and excited to introduce you to our 4 days Blossom Retreat.

Audrey is teaming with Sierra Campbell to offer you an amazing Blossom Retreat during Memorial weekend (Friday, May 22th to Tuesday 26th 2015). Meditation, yoga

Daily Sunrise Meditation, Paddle Boarding (and SUP Yoga), kiteboarding, Sunset Yoga and of course some yummy and healthy food.

How much better can this get?! Oh did we mentioned that it's all taken place in Cabarete, on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic?!

Click here for more info and price Sierra is the founder of Ventana Yoga, a unique, US based, yoga products company specializing in manufacturing with natural and recycled materials. She is a speaker and facilitator of Meditation, Yoga, and Pranayama (breathwork) with 16 years experience facilitating. You can view her women's health video series at Grokker and her video bio here.

Contact us NOW to reserve Your Spot Now. Limited space available.

if this link doesn’t work, please click here: http://www.blossomretreat.com/contact-yoga-for-sup-in-cabarete

Meditation, have you heard about mindful meditation?

Meditation can help our well-being; being a better person in our daily life, but also can help keeping our mind focus, calm and clear (while battling for waves in surfing for exemple). "If you were to ask me what was the most important experience of my life, I would say it was learning to meditate. For me, that is the most important thing a person can do to restore harmony and evolve to a higher state of consciousness." Deepak Chopra At blossom, we believe that the primary purpose of exercice is to feel strong, good, and healthy. But what about the wellbeing of our mind? Well, since we started practicing daily mindful meditation and joyful mindfulness, we realized that meditation and exercising have one big similarity: both can improve the quality of our life. --by gaining physical ability while exercising and gaining mental abilities when practicing mindful meditation.

Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind. Meditation is about living in the present and ‘detoxing’ from the constant over-stimulation around us.

Meditation

"Mindfulness has to do with paying attention to what's happening in the moment without judgment." Mirabai Bush.

Most people would agree that a lot of our unhappiness comes from the mind’s annoying chatter, which includes obsessions, worries, drifts from this stress to that stress, and our compulsive and exhausting need to anticipate the future. Read more in Alice G. Walton's article on www.forbes.com Last year, a Harvard study confirmed that there’s a clear connection between mind wandering and unhappiness. So now, imagine a place where you could reclaim all this energy that could be available to you. A place that allows you to let go of distraction, allows you to enjoy beautiful sceneries, sunrises, sunsets, healthy food, ocean activity, yoga and meditation ?! We would like to invite you to our next Blossom Retreat where we will practice Meditation, Yoga and enjoy some Ocean activities that will help us balance love, inner peace stillness, and awareness. Would you like to hear more about? Let us know. Contact us for dates, scheduled and more info. We would love to hear from you. "When the mind becomes highly relaxed and alert at the same time, three wonderful qualities of mind naturally emerge: calmness, clarity, and happiness". Search Inside Yourself,  Chade-Meng Tan. This is an amazing book, really well written and easy to understand if you search for meaning, peace, and love. We highly recommend it to everyone who would like to understand more about the what/how/why of meditation. We have find a short, fun and easy video about:

The Scientific Power of Meditation

Check it out:

Winter is back! Here is one of our old blog, but we loved it so much that we want to repost it! We all know that winter boarding (Skiing and Snowboarding) requires stamina, strength, balance and intense concentration; as much as ocean sports do. But it is unfortunately very easy to get injured in the snow. Yoga is the perfect way to reduce the risk of injury by increasing your range of motion and allowing you to stay in the game for a longer and safer practice. Yoga in the winter Yoga is beneficial for a skier/snowboarder since it also increases strength in the core muscles, which provide support in the event of falls, and support the spine through all of the twisting, bending and stabilizing required for riding.

Either you’re skiing or snowboarding a day, a week or a season, the following poses, will help to improve your balance and flexibility and blossom your peak performances in the snow.

What You Need: A yoga mat and comfortable clothing (I love my O’Neill365activewear). Practice those poses as a warm-up before hitting the slopes, or afterwards as a cool down.

1. Mountain Pose /Tadasana

How: Stand up tall, chin parallel to the ground, ankles line up under knees, toes pointed straight ahead. Engage your quadriceps and root your feet into the floor. Point your tailbone toward the ground and engage your. Relax your shoulders and rest your arms at your sides. Benefits: This is a good foundation or starting pose, where the entire body is engaged in order to help you find your center of balance while standing.

2. Chair pose/ Utkatasana:

How: From Mountain Pose, bend your knees and drop your tailbone towards the floor as if you were about to sit in a chair. Lift your chest and raise your arms straight above your head alongside your ears. Pull your shoulders away from your ears. Breathe and relax. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three times. Benefits: Strengthens the core, reinforces the strength in the spine and develop the leg strength and form needed to maneuver even through the toughest run.

3. Chair twist / Parivrtta Utkatasana:

How: From chair pose bring your right elbow to the outside of your left knee. Press your elbow against your knee to deepen the twist. Open your chest. Hold chair twists 30 seconds on each side and repeat three time. Benefits: strengthens the mid- and low back and increases flexibility throughout the spine. Parivrtta Utkatasana is also helpful for improving balance, posture, endurance, and confidence. Adding the twist to the basic chair pose will open the obliques to facilitate subtle changes in the core while you’re on your ski/snowboard.

4. Tree Pose / Vrksasana

How: Start in mountain pose. Engage your core as you shift your weight to your left foot. As you inhale, raise your right foot and place the sole on your ankle, calf, mid thigh, or upper thigh with your toes pointing down. Focus on a fix point as you breathe. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times. Benefits: Stretches your inner thighs, groin and shoulders. Strengthens your thighs, calves, core, and foot muscles. Develops balance and increases your mind / body awareness which is important when you’re on the slopes.

5. Bow pose / Dhanurasana:

How: Lie on your stomach, bend your knees and grab your ankles with your hands. Lengthen your spines and on an inhale, lift your head, chest, legs, hips up off the mat. Breath! Hold the posture for 10-30 seconds, working up to one full minute or more. Benefits: Great after a long day on the mountain! Stretchs hip flexors and core which is important when you ski/snowboard. Also improves posture and spinal flexibility.

6. Forearm plank hold:

How: Forearms are on the ground so that both your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. Hands shoulder width apart, finger spread wide. Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine. Engage your abs and squeeze your glutes, hold your body very straight and don’t sag your hips. Benefits: Strengthens/Stabilizes core and shoulders. Creates focus and inner strength. Try to hold the pose for one minute and repeat 3 times.

7. Upward Plank Pose/ Purvottansana:

How: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place your hands several inches behind your hips and your fingers pointing toward your bootie. Press your feet and hands down against the floor and lift your hips towards the ceiling; squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat one to two times. Benefits: Strengthens the arms, wrists, back and legs. Stretch shoulders, chest and front ankles.

8. Sage Marichi Pose / Marichyasana A:

How: Sit on the floor, with your legs extended in front of you, bend the left knee and place the foot on the floor close to your glute. Bend over the right leg while hugging the left shin into the body. Bring the left arm around the front of the left shin and your right hand behind your back. Grab your right wrist in your left hand. Open your chest and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Hold for 20-30 seconds on each side. Benefits: Stretches the hips, hamstrings and shoulders

9. Forward Kneeling Lunge:

How: Start by kneeling on one leg. Front knee should be aligned over heel. Keep your shoulders square, with your hands on the floor for balance. Keep your hips looking forward and stretch your body forward, feeling a nice stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Benefits: Improves flexibility of hip flexors, which improves posture and lower back health and stability.

10. Seated Hip & Spine Twist:

How: Start sitting on the floor, with your legs extended in front of you. Cross the left foot over the right thigh, placing the foot flat on the floor. Ankle should be touching the right thigh. Make sure both sitting bones are on the floor. Inhale and sit up tall. Exhale, rotate your trunk and take the right elbow in front of the left knee, applying gentle leverage against the left knee to move deeper into the twist. Turn your head to the left, in the direction of the twist.Place your left hand behind your back. Breathe, and keep your chest lifted and open. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Benefits: Improves spinal mobility and flexibility of gluteus and outer thigh muscles, which may help combat soreness in these areas after a long day on the snow.

11. Bridge/Setu Bandha Sarvangasana:

How: start on your back with your arms at your side. Bend your knees and keep them directly over your heels. Lift your hips and chest off the floor and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Interlace your hands underneath your back. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat one to two times.   Benefits: Strengthens back, chest and spine. Provides relief for the back and opens the hip flexors and rejuvenates sore legs.

12. Knees to chest/Apanasana:

How: Roll onto your back hugging your knees into your chest. Slowly rock to the right and left, massaging your lower back and relaxing the muscles. Benefits: helps to keep your low back limber. Also calm the mind and rebalancing your energy, great after a long day in the mountain.

Blossom with us!

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. Looking to beat the Winter Blues? ... Join Blossom Retreat in the Caribbean's for 2015 ... If you are looking for a complete retreat experience where you can leave your worries behind and let your relaxation be our, join us at  The Ocean & Yoga Blossom Retreat

Mark your calendar, book your 2015 Retreat NOW!


Ready to clear your mind for a Xmas SUP Yoga class?

Join us for some Yoga4SUP, this Sunday, December 21st 2014

The weather and the water conditions are definitely showing the signs of a perfect Yoga4SUP session! What about a better way to start the day with doing some Yoga on a floating mat? Mixing Yoga & SUP together is so much fun and challenging. What could be more amazing than while stretching in the “Down dog”, looking around and only seeing the Ocean, beach and sand?!

SUP Yoga Class

Call Audrey +1.809.863.65.15 or sign up online at  www.Yoga4SUP.com or email us HERE to reserve a spot in the class. Hurry up, place are feeling up quick. Meeting point is in front of  Vela Windsurf Center at 7.30 am. Price is US$ 35 for the group session (includes SUP board, paddle, tuition and fun, fun, fun). Can’t make it on Sunday?  Sign up for a private Yoga4SUP class any time during the week. See you on before next year, this Sunday! Audrey

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For more information, go to

www.Yoga4SUP.com

Yoga4SUP is brought to you by Cabarete-SUP,

The Dominican Republic North Shore’s original stand up paddle school

Lessons- rentals – retails – coastal adventures


The Butterfly Effect is coming back to Cabarete and we're inviting all the butterfly for some SUP Yoga !

The Butterfly Effect is a non competitive event where women are joining beauty and strength to empower each other through water sports (windsurfing, kiteboardingpaddle boarding, kayaking and surfing). The event is designed to give every Butterfly more confidence, joy, and skill in her board riding, as well as her navigation through everyday life. The Butterfly Effect began in Hawaii in 2007 by water women, Tatiana Howard. Since then Tatiana have flown to organize the event in Brazil, New Zealand, France, United States (Oregon and Hawaii), Germany, Tahiti, Fiji, Israel, Australia AND Dominican Republic. Blossom invites all the Butterfly to join the Yoga4SUP class this Wednesday July 30th 2015. Meeting point is at Vela Windsurf Center at 7.30 am. The paddle board makes a fine yoga mat and the extra balance required by being on the water intensifies the yoga routine. The peacefulness of floating on the water combines nicely with the meditative nature of yoga. No knowledge of Stand Up Paddle boarding or Yoga required! Anyone can do this fun, empowering class.

You will love it and your body, mind and soul will thank you for it.

IMPORTANT: Let us know you are coming and reserve your board at +1. (809).863.65.15 or sign up online on www.Yoga4SUP.com Email us or call Audrey (809-863-65-15) to reserve your spot. Places are limited. Hurry up, place are feeling up quick. See you this Wednesday then! Audrey