18 Nov 2011

Master Snowboarder and Ashtangi

Terje Haakonsen. In the snowboard world, he's the man. I love boarding, but don't follow the competitions or fashions or fame but when I saw the words 'for Terje' on the bottom of my board I looked him up. Japanese call him the god of boarding. Man is he good. When I found out he was also an Ashtangi he became a bit of a hero for me. Thinking how I would so like to meet him and talk yoga and boarding one day. For those of you who don't know him, check this out:

As they say on the video to do a run like this requires mental toughness, to overcome all your fears and doubt. Not an easy feat as we all know. So when I hear he is going to be in my neck of the woods I go to where he is hoping I might at least get to say hello...maybe a quick chat.

The first day I was too shy to even go near him, this is ridiculous I tell myself. I can usually talk to anyone, overcome my shyness, but I couldn't, just couldn't do it. He has a different aura, dare I say the aura of a master.

The second day I catch the bus over the mountains to the big city to meet some friends at the club where the Burton riders would be. Thinking I will probably be unable to even say hello, so no expectations except to hang with some friends I hadn't seen since the earthquake. Fun, music and drinks. Then my friends encourage me to go say hello. I did, blurted out god knows what in my drunken (bad yogi) nervous (worse yogi) state and he invites us into the back room with them...... We chatted, I was in awe, so much in fact I just chat and chat and chat with no mention of yoga or boarding once. What was that about, maybe I didn't want to bother him. Oh how I kicked myself all the way home.

However it did make me realise what separates the masters from the practitioners. It's the strength and clarity of mind. That equanimity, composure in any situation. I know in my meager riding experience how important it is to be totally relaxed, clear and in the moment. The minute nerves, fear or doubt creep in, wham, crash, bam! What could be better training for this than Ashtanga, both physically and mentally I can think or nothing better to prepare me and keep me going through the season.

So it's Firday and I practiced primary. I felt terrible while doing it, stiff and heavy, had to haul my ass through to the end. So many times I wanted to stop and have breakfast, but I didn't, and when I was done, I felt great. Ironed out some kinks, released a bit of negativity and lightened my step for the day.

Come on snow.

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