Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga:
According to Huffpost, the Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga community is actually larger then you’d might expect. On the contrary, we’re not just talking about within tropical places either. For example, the Namaste S.U.P. community. This community provides a way to unite yogis who love there paddle board yoga and wish to find teachings, travel opportunities, and product to enhance their SUP yoga practice.
Paddle boarding is a great activity that you can enjoy on nearly any body of water. It takes tons of balance and body strength to do, but it’s also “relatively”, easy to learn. Because of the need for balance and body control while paddle-boarding, it is only natural that it pairs so well with yoga.
According to Ace Fitness, it may be important to first seek out a SUP class or small group session to get your bearings.
Now, many would tell you it’s hard enough to hold certain asanas (yoga poses) on a stable surface and yoga mat, adding a paddle board on the water just seems insane, right? Well maybe, but although it may seem very challenging to some, maybe impossible, we think you’d be pleasantly surprised. Not only that, it offers benefits that yoga on “land” may not provide.
If you’re looking for a beautiful, peaceful day out on the water, then doing some stand-up paddle-board yoga is an excellent activity. Furthermore, it can deliver relaxation and tons of enjoyment, visually and spiritually. If you’re simply looking to change up your classic yoga routine, paddle board yoga is something to try for sure!
Why Would Anyone Do Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga?
If you’re wondering what the benefits are of paddle-board yoga, you’re probably not alone. For most, the idea of going out onto a moving body of water and trying to maintain balance on a paddle-board seems like a relatively daunting task.
Here’s An Interesting Take:
Doing yoga on a more unstable surface may in fact add to that “mindfulness” experience we often discuss. Using the amount of concentration it takes to balance asanas on a paddle board, forces us to be very focused on the “now” or present moment. It forces us to concentrate on individual yoga postures and the task at hand. Potentially even more so then when doing asanas in our home, or a yoga studio.
Mensjournal.com also discusses the additional core challenges paddle board yoga may provide. They state that, ‘it offers a core workout from beginning to end“, because of the constant balancing act on the water itself.
This is very beneficial as well to those of you who just enjoy a more natural experience. The scenic views and beauty of the water alone, can make the experience of yoga, that much better. If it’s hard for you to remain focused at home, and you’re not a gym or yoga studio “type” person, then this may be just the alternative you need.
It’s also a way to feel empowered and to never quit. The bottom line is, if you fall in the water, you really don’t have much of a choice but to climb back aboard and give it another go-round. You’re not only focusing on poses, but you may even be overcoming a slight fear of falling in, taking your focus to a whole other level! When you finally achieve a challenging maneuver or pose, a feeling of accomplishment will likely ensue.
Stand-up-paddle-board-yoga is an experience that you can do with a group of friends. Yoga can be practiced almost anywhere, on the water with friends, just might be the anecdote you need!
What Do You Need?
You’ll need a few supplies if you want to start doing stand up paddle-board yoga. First and foremost you need a paddle board. Indeed, there are paddle boards made more specifically for standup yoga. However, you certainly don’t need such a specific board. Any wide bodied board with a flat deck, will do. There are also inflatable boards. However, you’ll really want to experiment with variations if you choose to do this regularly. Another option is to rent a paddle board.
To go along with the board itself, having a paddle is also crucial to help navigate you along your journey. The art of choosing your paddle, has to do with what paddle correlates with your size and what you can handle. The paddle itself will most likely remain stationary on the nose of your board as you complete your asanas. Oftentimes, it can also be pulled along the back of the board, with your leash.
The leash is the device you would have attached to you as you paddle along the surface of the water. As a result, if you were to fall in, the board doesn’t get away from you. However, when stationary, you may wish to use it to tie to your paddle and drag behind the board, giving you more room to practice.
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There are some other essentials you’ll want to grab before embarking on this new avenue of yoga. First is proper clothing. A wet-suit is most likely ideal, but a bathing suit that is suited for athletics may also work for you.
If you are feeling really confident, regular yoga clothes may do just fine However, keep in mind there is always the chance you fall in once, twice, or many times. Besides proper clothing, you’ll want to bring supplies like sunscreen, maybe a hat, sunglasses, and possibly water shoes to help with gripping to the board.
Above all, may just be safety. Safety supplies like a whistle should be something to consider. Many companies now offer bags that can keep your supplies completely 100% dry throughout your time out on the water. This may become essential if this becomes a regular routine!
For practitioners engaging in stand-up paddle-board yoga on particularly choppy water, you may also want to invest in an anchor or tether. This piece of equipment will help keep the board more stationary and provide an overall better experience.
A PFD or Personal Flotation Device, is an important piece of equipment you should have as well. These devices come more compact then ever before. Tucking one away in your bag, should not be an issue.
Oftentimes, not all yoga poses are going to be appropriate for paddle-board yoga. The movement of the water is going to make it difficult to perform some asanas. Then again, this is also part of the balance building that benefits your experience from this particular flavor of yoga.
Any great stand up paddle-board yoga sequence will include some of the most popular yoga postures. Albeit with a few modifications in some cases. Examples of poses that may not require modification is a simple cat/cow pose, or downward-facing dog.
Watch the above video to get an idea of some of the poses that can be done in a simple yoga routine on the water!
Other poses, such as side stretches can be performed from a sitting pose for anyone doing stand-up paddleboard yoga on rough water. Keep these basics in mind for your first time on the water and you will more likely have success.
As always, we love for you to share your experiences with any type of yoga you perform, and specifically for this post, paddle-board yoga.
Thanks for stopping by, have a great time out on the water!