flexibility (mind and body)

is the key

People often ask us how we manage to live on a narrow boat; what qualities are most important to maintaining an equilibrium and peace of mind?

For us, it’s flexibility of both mind and body…let me explain.

We ascended the Wigan Flight (of locks) on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towards the end of February, planning to spend several weeks walking in the Yorkshire Dales. We’ve been to this area many times before in our caravan when we lived in a house, but never by boat.

We were taking our time heading towards Gargrave, so we’d arrive in the area as the weather improved. We hoped to base ourselves between Gargrave and Skipton to have easy access to the Dales and lots of walks.

As often happens on the canals, we received a notification from CRT that River Lock in Leeds would be closing from the end of May until the end of July. We didn’t really want to be ‘stuck’ on this canal until August, so we curtailed our time around Skipton and got a bit of a wiggle on to get to Leeds sooner than we’d planned.

We had thought about trying to tackle the Calder and Hebble Canal, but as our boat is 60ft long, we decided we couldn’t face the risk of getting stuck in the locks which are not designed for boats that long!

In the meantime, CRT reversed their decision to close River Lock, so we’re now heading back the way we came and hoping to do some walks in the summer sunshine after all.

The best plan to have when living on a boat seems to be no plan and having an open and flexible outlook to life helps to eliminate stress; after 3 years of living on the boat, we’re now getting used to just going with the flow.

As a former yoga teacher, I’ve tried to maintain a 3 times a week yoga practice, which isn’t easy with the unpredictable weather.

We’ve done yoga on the towpath, on lock landings, in children’s playgrounds, pub car parks, even a graveyard!

Despite the challenges of boat life, we’re managing to maintain flexibility of body and mind…long may it continue 😀

canal boat moored in city

narrowboat and yoga

This entry was posted in Editorials on by .

About Karen Bent

My husband and I had a narrowboat commissioned after a series of difficult events which made us decide on a totally different lifestyle. We weren't boaters previously, but have been on board NB Grace since July 2021. I write quite a bit about mental health on our Facebook blog Boomers on Board as I figure what I'm learning about myself might also help others. I love history, yoga (I'm a yoga teacher...or was) nature and our boat....and of course my husband Rob who is 71!