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Can regular humans do SUP yoga?

Mastered the downward dog? Love a summer SUP? Maybe it’s time to join these epic pastimes into one wobbly sport. Yep, today we’re delving into the wonders of yoga on a stand-up paddle board.

Here’s what you need to know.

It’s not that scary

Okay, watching people do SUP yoga from the shore is a little intimidating. Not only are they doing yoga, which makes them vaguely superior to the rest of us soaking up sunshine on the beach (doused in sunscreen and a fine hat), but they’re doing it on a paddle board.

On. A. Paddle. Board.

So. Can we do it too? Or is this new-fangled sport only reserved for the most flexible, water loving super humans? Turns out, the answer is no. Anyone can give it a go, and you’ll have an amazingly fun time too.

How to start

First things first, you’ll need a paddle board. So, borrow, rent or buy one – then go for a paddle as regularly as you can. Getting a lesson to start off with or heading out with a patient and experienced friend is a good way to learn.

We recommend starting on a flat body of water, like a lake, so you don’t have to contend with waves while you’re working out how to balance. Here’s a blog we wrote a while back on beginner stand up paddle boarding. It’s worth a read if you’re starting out.

Next, yoga

Now you have the basics of SUPing, it’s time to hone your yoga. We’re going to assume you can already breathe your way through a beginner flow class. If this isn’t the case, find a yoga studio in your area and get started.

You don’t need to be a yogi master to do yoga on a stand-up paddle board, but you will need to know how to perform basic moves, like downward facing dog, cat pose, mountain pose and warrior II.

It’s especially important to understand how your body needs to align within each of these poses, as it will be more challenging to adjust your body once you’re on the water. Don’t worry though, if you fall in, that’s part of the fun!

Getting out there

Joining a beginner SUP yoga class is probably the best way to give this sport a go. For one, it’s much more fun in a group, and a professional instructor can give you tips to further your practice. It’s also safer, since everyone is watching out for each other.

Here are some more reasons to take your yoga practice to the water:

  1. The workout is better, but you won’t even notice you’re working harder. This is because you’ll have to engage your core to stabilise on the floating board.
  2. You’ll hone your yoga practice, as the board will tell you if your weight is distributed unevenly.
  3. It’s calming, since the sensation of floating and sound of water alleviates the stress that can infiltrate our busy lives.
  4. Become more in touch with your breath. Ocean Breath’ is a way of breathing that calms your fight or flight response and relaxes your entire body.
  5. Being around water is proven to have amazing benefits for the body. Scientists say being near water leads to an improved sense of physical health and well-being.
  6. It’s just the right amount of scary and fun, and these two feelings combined make for an adrenaline rush that boosts mood and wellbeing.
  7. If you fall in, that’s even better. Studies show cold water immersion strengthens the immune system and boosts metabolism.

Now what?

If you’re keen to give SUP yoga a go, Google classes in your area. They’ll most likely kick off in Spring, which is just around the corner. In the meantime, get to your local yoga studio and practice those poses, so you’re SUP yoga ready.

If you need insurance for your SUP, we can help with that too. Get in touch for a quote (with no obligation).

Picture: http://www.contoocookcanoe.com/sup-yoga