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Darien, CT, 06820


Thumbs up stand up paddle board and land yoga classes, trainings and retreats by Danielle Brown. 




Danielle Brown

What is it about water that keeps drawing me back to it? I think it’s the same as most. Water soothes, nourishes and sustains. Like a receding swell, its powerful magnetism after a New England winter is predicable and unwinding. It is my elixir and I slug its shimmering blue, sound of its tide breath and velvety touch.

There was a time when I used to dread the water. Looking for some way to crack the tight knit freshman girl social circle when my family moved to Darien from Westchester, I signed up for the Blue Wave swim team. At the try out, I don't think I wore a bathing cap and I certainly didn't know how to do a flip turn. I guess the coach saw some glimmer of potential in me because I was included on the squad despite my significant shortcomings. Committing to the sport by practicing year round with the Piranhas helped bridge that gap and I became a decent backstroker and team captain my senior year. I was even recruited to swim at college where each day, and sometimes twice a day, I swam back and forth in a silky pool, surrounded by large clear paneled glass so even in the coldest of upstate New York winter days, the sun beat with encouragement. As the water supported my weight, my mind fought my body by challenging it with goals in hundredths of a second. The most fear inducing element of swim team was the unforgettable connotation of that first waft of ripe chlorine on the pool deck that meant the dreaded first dive in. That shockingly cold entry was never comforting but eased to sweet relief when I realized that I didn't shatter from the plunge but actually, felt exhilarated and even inspired.

When I was a child, my family packed our collapsible third seat station wagon to the gills for weekends at the Jersey Shore. My sister and I sat in the way back with legs on suitcases, not a lot of air and Lionel Richie grooves coming from someplace buried under all the gear. We made faces at the passersby and planned our days ahead at the beach. There was time to dig in the sand up to our chins and play "under / over" with the waves, boogie board until our stomachs chafed and eat peanut butter and potato chip sandwiches. I was hosed off at the end of a beach day yet the salt and lotion would linger on my skin, a gentle mix of summer. At night in bed, with the windows flung open and the pulse of the fan near by, the soothing rock of the ocean would resume within me, somehow engrained from hours before in the waves.

Is there a body of water from your childhood that you can place immediately? Have you entwined the color of the water with the memory by that shore? Did you grow up building castles or riding the waves by body or craft? Do you too count down the moments until summer returns, when the air gets warm, grills get lit, shoulders get sunkissed and flip flops are once more joined to the skin for three languid, coveted months?

My yoga classes encourage an incorporation of tenderness, and a sensitivity to the body's relationship to space and to the soul. For me, time by the water charges these senses. I envision beach yoga to provide an environment to reap the delights of summer by our beautiful Long Island Sound. Breath work and poses will be in an Open Level format, with options for all.

Join me at Weed Beach this summer for an hour each Saturday at 8AM. This eight week series begins June 8th and runs through July 27th. Registration will be available through Darien Park and Rec beginning March 6th. Under. Over.