5 Things you Didn’t Know about Stand Up Paddle (SUP)

background-3There are two things that I love – being in, on or near salt water and yoga. And with summer approaching, it is the perfect time to marry these two loves with stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga.

Now, let’s pause here for a second and address all you doubters that said, “I have a hard time doing yoga on solid ground, let alone a floating board.” Fear not my yogis, SUP yoga is much more than just yoga. It’s believing and pushing yourself to find out what you are truly capable of doing! It’s opening your senses to the natural world that surrounds you and embracing it’s beauty. It’s surrendering to something much larger and more powerful than yourself. It’s learning how to let go of control and laugh at the little things.

I encourage you to seek out a class this summer, with these five thoughts in mind:

You don’t need to be an experienced Yogi or Paddler!

The sport of stand-up paddling is beginner friendly and simple to learn. Plus it is accessible to most. To practice SUP Yoga, you don’t need to know how to do elaborate arm balances or inversions. In fact, the only thing you need to know is how to find a slow and steady yoga (ujjayi) breath.

You don’t need to wear a bathing suit!

Dress in what makes you feel most comfortable, preferably synthetic (non-cotton) clothing. Yoga clothes are totally acceptable. Be mindful to wear sunscreen and prepare as you would for hot weather activity. Secure your sunglasses, hat, and anything else that you don’t want to lose to the bottom of the sea.

You may not fall in or even get wet!

The boards that I teach SUP yoga on are wide, fat, and stable. The surface of the board sits high above the water and has a comfortable, soft deck pad that acts as your yoga mat.

The 11ft yoga board is plenty long (most yoga mats are 6 ft long) and the 30 inches of width (most yoga mats are 24 inches) provide an awesome surface to practice a full, comprehensive yoga sequence.

Depending on the conditions, and how daring you get, it is totally possible to go through an entire practice and stay completely dry. With that being said, part of the experience is falling, especially on a hot day. So, don’t be afraid to fall and remember to laugh when you do!

Best savasana EVER!

You know that feeling when you rise from savasana? Multiply that and add sunshine, salt air, and the sound of sea birds in the distance. Need more convincing? Once your body begins to relax and soften into your SUP board, it finds the natural rhythm of the salt water moving beneath you. The result? Complete calm, peace and ease.

Embrace your open mind and sense of humor!

There will be poses that you struggle with on the board that might otherwise be easy for you in a studio! Don’t be surprised as this is part of the fun and challenge of it. SUP yoga requires a steady breath, steady gaze, and concentration – meditation in motion. Because of this, we approach this practice playfully and with a sense of humor.

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