Mindfulness in Japan - Yoga, Hot Springs & Temple Gardens

The bridge to Oshima

The bridge to Oshima

Imagine yoga on a particular small island overlooking a bay full of small islands.

Imagine that that particular island is particularly important to the idea of mindfulness with its caves that monks used to meditate in.

Around from the caves on the East side of the island, overlooking the bay in the early morning, undisturbed by other tourists as we undertake a standing practice at the lookout over the bay. Quiet and serene, gently awakening our bodies to movement for the day.

Morning yoga on Oshima

Morning yoga on Oshima

Before this, and the night before, the hot springs in the traditional hotel where we stayed had already been taken advantage of. An opportunity to be mindful at every step of cleansing. Something we often rush and do not take full advantage of when at home.

Leaving our slippers, then clothes. Carefully crossing the stone floor to wash before heading to the outdoor bath. Carefully moving into to the bath to maintain modesty and avoid injury while keeping our small towels out of the water.

Observing the warmth of the mineral spring as it seeps into our skins, muscles and bones, gently releasing muscles and joints. Watching the movement of boats out on the bay - the lights at night and before sunrise. Feeling the cool of the sea breeze on the skin. Listening to our bodies to know when to ease out of the hot water to avoid dizziness, when to ease back in to avoid a chill.

Sunrise from the outdoor bath

Sunrise from the outdoor bath

Dinner & breakfast both traditional meals providing a variety of textures, tastes and temperatures. Being mindful of those differences and enjoying them thoroughly. Some, standard Japanese fare, others, local specialties. All of them delicious.

The cool, crisp air of the temple garden - each breath bringing a new eyeful of colour and texture - the serrations of the Japanese maple with flows of green, red and gold; the orderly rough texture of the small stones in the zen garden; the growth of fern on the edge of the shingled roof; the red parasol, the deep green moss, the dark grey steps leading to the small temple building and around the carved out caves. Becoming so involved in the beauty of the scene that I almost forget to breathe...

Mindfulness in Matsushima. Hoping to give what we could to the economy of a tsunami-damaged area, while taking the opportunities for mindfulness where we could.

If you are interested in our Mindfulness Tours please keep an eye on the blog and the Facebook page as more of the activities are described. If you are interested in coming on a future tour, then please contact us to express your interest. SunsetYogaRedcliffe@gmail.com