Yoga and Kayaking
Join Bhaskar Deva for a fun weekend of kayaking down the James River. The day begins with early morning meditation, hatha yoga and of course, a hearty breakfast. After an instructional orientation, we launch our individual sit-upon kayaks (tandem kayak and canoes are also available) and — our adventure down the river begins!
We will experience the art of navigating the river by listening and observing the currents. The magical sound of the water flowing will invite us to meditate on the banks. Allowing us to connect with the undisturbed nature as she reveals her wonders, and if we are lucky, we might spot a soaring eagle!
Staff: Skilled staff will guide us in safety and proper paddling each day throughout the trip.
Levels: Beginners to Intermediate kayakers are most welcome.
Back up plan: If the river is in floods (very rare) kayaking will be on a lake.
Pre-requisite: ability to swim and to have fun.
Bhaskar Deva’s love of nature has drawn him to experience and lead groups in hiking, boating and kayaking whether it is in mountains, lakes, rivers, or even in the ocean. Bhaskar was a swami (monk) for many years at Yogaville, where he served as Development Coordinator, as an Ashram board member and as Sri Swami Satchidanandaji’s pilot. Bhaskar, with his wife, Nischala Devi, founded the Abundant WellBeing Temple, a non-profit organization dedicated to embracing the loving spirit and one light in all. Gathering friends to share the flow of river, and the serenity of the nature, is one of his great joys.
“I just love kayaking and being on the water, listening to the sounds of the river and the nature as I float along. It is very meditative to hear the river lapping upon the kayak’s hull and the whooshing of the water as the paddle glides along. The rhythm of paddling allows my body to sing. Harmonizing with the flow as I pull the paddle with one arm and push with the other. At the same time engaging my core muscles and watching my breath. It all becomes effortless like walking, except now on water! And the river always brings something interesting around the next bend. Join me and let’s discover what is waiting for us, together on the river…”Bhaskar Deva
What to Bring:
(Kayaks, life jackets, meals and water will be provided).
3. Sun Hat
6. Lip balm
7. Water shoes (such as Tevas)
8. Gloves (to prevent blisters)
9. Lightweight rain jacket
10. Water bottle
11. Small towel
12. A sense of fun and adventure
We happily encourage families to join us. Minors must be able to swim and be comfortable in the water (river). There are life jackets available for each participant. The main thing is, in the unlikely event of the kayak turning over, the child must be comfortable enough that they do not panic. The river is generally very shallow and in most places one can simply stand up. However, there are a few small deep spots, which if one relaxes, they will float downstream where they can stand up. Usually there is a staff member nearby and definitely their partner (Everyone is assigned a partner to paddle beside). For a minor and guardian circumstance, a two-person kayak would generally work well, especially if the parent has had some experience kayaking or at least athletically inclined. The river is very gentle–almost no waves although there is a current so some paddling is necessary for steering and keeping up with the relaxed pace of the group. On Saturday, the trip starts with 2 hours of kayaking, then a break on an island for stretching, meditation and lunch, and end with another 2 hours of kayaking. On Sunday, the trip includes 1-2 hours of kayaking. If a guardian wishes to enroll a minor as a participant in Yoga and Kayaking, and prefers a tandem kayak (2-person kayak), please advise us so that the proper equipment can be arranged.
In the past, participants have included teenagers and it worked well, although it truly depends on the nature of the person. The program presenter and kayak leader, Bhaskar Deva, is happy to speak directly with the guardian if any additional questions arise.