Recently, you may have noticed the growing yoga trend of stand-up paddleboard yoga (SUP Yoga). It looks like it’s a great workout and a lot of fun, but let’s face it, a headstand on a paddleboard in the middle of the ocean is intimidating!
SUP Yoga can be challenging, but it’s a very rewarding practice that’s great for building core strength and full body awareness. Plus SUP Yoga is a great addition to your yoga practice because it invites a new perspective to many classic yoga poses.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Sunshine isn’t all you need . . .
Sunshine is a great asset to a fun day on the water, but it’s important to check the weather for wind conditions and any incoming bad weather. Heavy winds make the water choppy and much more difficult to balance on your paddleboard.
If your area often gets afternoon thunderstorms, try to get out on the water early in the morning. You don’t want to get caught far from the shore with thunder and lightning nearby.
2. Equipment is key
There are hundreds of paddleboards on the market. There are even paddleboards designed specifically for yoga. If you are renting a paddleboard, the most stable paddleboards to practice yoga on are about 35 inches wide and around 10 feet long (longer boards are generally more stable).
You can choose between an inflatable or traditional (hard) board. Many people enjoy both types and it often comes down to convenience.
3. Slow down
This isn’t your typical vinyasa practice. When practicing yoga on a paddleboard, it is critical to slow down, hold the poses and utilize your breath to keep you focused. Again, SUP Yoga can bring a whole new perspective to your practice, and for some of us, that perspective is simply being reminded to slow down.
4. Find your center
We may say this a lot in our yoga practice, but SUP Yoga makes the term a lot more literal. Usually the handle of the paddleboard is the center point, so if you keep your center of gravity close to the handle, you will have an easier time staying balanced as you move through your yoga poses.
Now that you’ve got some basic knowledge about paddleboarding, here are 10 yoga poses that are perfect to try on your first SUP Yoga adventure:
1. Forward Fold
2. Halfway Lift
3. Chaturanga Dandasana/ or modified one)))
4. Upward Facing Dog
5. Downward Facing Dog
6. Child Pose
7. Crescent Lunge or a modified version
8. Low Lunge Twist
9. Bridge Pose
10. Half Pigeon Pose
Practice these yoga poses first on land then take them onto the water and feel the difference! When you have the opportunity to bring your yoga practice onto a paddleboard, take it. SUP Yoga is a wonderful experience for all levels of yogis and a great way to connect deeper to yourself and your yoga practice.
Love and Light!