I packed light, but always took a beach blanket & a towel. The blanket went down on the sand - first thing. And I anchored the corners with my shoes, a book, my water, etc. The blanket was a sand-free zone. I took great care to stand alongside the blanket (sandy feet in the sand) & then plop down on the blanket. Brush the sand off my legs & keep my sandy feet in the sand. No sand on the blanket. You didn't walk on the blanket. You didn't kick sand on the blanket.
The towel was for after swimming - I love swimming in the ocean. Trip to the water - back to the blanket. Stand by the blanket, grab the towel, dry off a bit. Sandy feet in the sand, plop on the blanket. No sand on the blanket.
Once we had our son - all this changed. Traveling light to the beach meant alot of sand toys, and a couple towels - for drying off after swimming. Spreading out a blanket & keeping it sand free? Unheard of. The towel is part of the beach. There is no blanket. Sand on the towel (an everything else) is inevitable. You may suggest a beach chair - too much to carry. The toys & a towel (and water & snacks) are enough.
This is what my towel looked like on our last trip to the beach:
Going to the beach is different now. Really different. Lying on a blanket relaxing, listening to waves, soaking up the sun in my sand-free zone...not anymore. We hardly sit. We dig, we play, we walk & run. Occassionally we sit for a few minutes on our sandy towel & eat our sandy snacks.
It's different. It's better. It's alot of fun. Things have changed. Our lives have changed (they alwasy do). Trips to the beach have changed. If I stayed stuck on sand-free beach trips, I'd be miserable. I'd spend the whole time yelling at my son to stay off the blanket & shaking the towel off (I see parents doing this some time & wonder "what's the point?"). I'd rather go with the flow & have fun. I'll take the sandy towel any day.
This was what the end of our sandy day at the beach looked like. I had a sandy towel - we had alot of fun. And honestly, I can't even take any credit for this creation...it was all my husband & my son.
It's the beach, but it's yoga - it's life. It's showing up for class & not being able to put your mat down in your usual spot, or finding out that there's a different teacher at the last minute, or trying a different pose or a different style. Going with the flow in the studio, in a class, in yoga & enjoying it. That's why I practice. So I can enjoy the shifts & changes in my life. Whether it's a sandy towel or a sandy yoga mat:)