Minding Mindless Beauty

Hometown River This river is my home because I know all of its secrets. It needs my heart, and not my brain. It knows which of my fears remain. This river is my home because I wrote all of its secrets.   This river is my home because it’s in me. It’s my white bones, and my blue eyes, my muddy hair, my cells revived. This river is my home because it’s in me.   This river is my home because it made me. It taught me how to take and give, it showed me how to die and live. 

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Ayurveda Tips for Staying Cool in the Heat of Summer

The hot summer months are considered the season of Pitta (Fire) in Ayurveda. The hot qualities of Pitta can lead to overheating, skin conditions such as rashes, digestive disruptions such as diarrhea and feelings of frustration and anger. According to Ayurveda, it’s important to incorporate opposite qualities into our diet and lifestyle to counteract the most prominent qualities of each season. By bringing in opposite qualities to the heat of summer, we help our bodies maintain balance, health and vitality. Here are my top 5 tips for staying healthy and cool this summer: 1. Enjoy the water! This season is 

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Yoga for Paddling: Relieving Low Back Pain

Here in the U.S. we spend over 100 billion dollars per year on low back pain relief (trying to get it). What is most astounding about this is that most, if not all, low back pain is avoidable. The key is knowledge, understanding and a little discipline too. First, your low back pain and discomfort have nothing to do with your low back. Paddlers who get out of their boats or off their boards and immediately do a forward fold to stretch their low backs are actually exacerbating the problem. We incorrectly assume that the discomfort we feel is directly 

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Learning to Open My Eyes

Canyon Creek Lewis. 3.2 miles of glorious, scenic, pool drop whitewater, the site of the Northwest Creeking Competition, mentioned on American Whitewater as:  “…one of the best sections in the country for a creeking race.” A year ago it was the upper limits of what I felt comfortable running and moving back to the Pacific Northwest, I knew I was at least better prepared to tackle it. So I made a project. Run it until I got comfortable. My 4th time down ~650cfs I got stuck in a pocket near the bottom of the right wall of the largest drop 

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Nose Plugs and Neti Pots

I’m a nose plug addict. I admit it. I don’t like running rapids without them firmly squeezed in place. I’ve spent the moments before every rapid for the past 4 plus years worrying about where they were and getting them on my face. I thought they were my security. I figured if I had them on, then I would be calm if I flipped and I could focus more on my roll than the water shooting up my sinuses. Not necessarily true. I found out by experience but I’m stubborn and kept telling myself I needed them. Well, after having 

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Telling Good Stories

It was Memorial Day weekend, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was blessed with rain, runoff, warm weather, and a gaggle of eager kayakers. I couldn’t wait to paddle the Presque Isle and Black Rivers until they dropped into Lake Superior. I couldn’t wait to just be in my boat, making moves and looking where I wanted to go, breathing in the clean air and the sunshine, laughing with friends and giving thanks. I launched into the Presque and glanced around at our flotilla. I realized something that is often the case, but upon which I typically don’t dwell. For 

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Swim to Victory

Saturday, April 29. It’s sunny but cold in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and the Peshtigo River is raging from recent rains. I’m standing at the check-in table for the Pesh Fest 2017 downriver race, agonizing over whether I should sign up. I’ve been in a sort of kayaking slump for the past month or so—really the past year, since returning from the Southeast. Working towards graduating college and transitioning into graduate school has sapped much of the mental, physical, and emotional energy that I usually pour into kayaking. Less time in my boat has diminished my confidence, and memories of the 

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Hammer Factor, Fear Factor: What’s in a Story?

“The past and future are in the mind only – I am now.” – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj Last month I accompanied Girls at Play on the last five rapids of the Green Narrows on the final day of Creek Week. This was my fifth trip down this section. I had an arch nemesis on this river and it was called Hammer Factor. The previous several times I ran this rapid, I managed to do it every way except plastic side down. I’ve ran the whole thing upside down, had a brief out-of-boat experience stuck in the pocket, and bow stalled face first 

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Sharks Teeth!

  I went camping on the North Carolina coast recently where I found my first shark tooth on Shark Tooth Island! I was so excited. At 30 you would think I would have had better luck over the years, but I guess I’m not good at just staring at the ground when I’m at the beach. 🙂 Paddling to Shark Tooth Island is a very simple 1.2 mile loop on the Cape Fear River that can be longer or shorter if you wish. It is dependent on tides and the weather can change very quickly so it’s important to pay 

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SUP in the Mountains: Rivers of Life

Rivers are fickle yet predictable. Teasing you with their perfect eddies and beautiful ripples. You are standing above a rapid, floating at the edge of the drop calculating your next move. The feeling of knowing that you possess the skill to continue standing as you move down the rapid is empowering.  Then, sometimes, you hit a rock with your fin and go flying over the nose into the water! These things are what motivate me to keep going back to the river. I want to try again and again and again. I love reaching the bottom of a rapid and 

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Meet Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque is the leading expert on kayak instruction for women and yoga and wellness for paddling, including SUP Yoga. Named one of the most inspirational paddlers alive by Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Anna’s twenty-plus years of experience as an accomplished international competitor and instructor has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF magazine.

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"I appreciate Anna's calm support and the confidence it inspires." - Jen, CO

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