Is your daily yoga practice becoming a bit old? If you’re looking for a new way to challenge yourself, yoga on a stand-up paddleboard will give you a renewed strength and push you to become an even better yogi than you imagined, and all this while experiencing the natural brilliance of surfing on water. And paddleboard yoga is not just for the fortunate people in tropical places like Bali. SUP yoga is a lot bigger than you’d anticipate, making it simpler for you to find a suitable place to try it.
SUP yoga is a combination of the spiritual contemplative element of yoga and physical activity, which is provided by an unstable board. SUP Yoga is more complicated than classical yoga on the carpet and creates restrictions for some exercises. Still, this type of activity will be able to diversify your usual tours on a paddleboard. Besides, the obvious plus of paddleboard yoga is that on your board, you can explore beautiful locations and stop to practice wherever you want.
If you have never tried yoga, but know how to paddleboard, or you perform asanas daily, but you are not familiar with a paddle boarding – then yoga on a paddleboard is a great way for you to learn new things about your favorite activity or even find another hobby. The pacification and soothing splash of water will perfectly complement the meditative basis of yoga, and deep stretching and strengthening of the muscles will be useful to rowers on the SUP board. Yoga classes on a paddleboard will help you to reduce stress, stabilize breathing, and cleanse the mind while pumping the main muscle groups – all in all, the perfect combination.
Right Paddleboard for SUP Yoga
To try paddleboard yoga once, almost any walking board will do. But if you wish to take this practice to your daily routine, then the best paddleboard for yoga is the wide one (at least 30 inches)- broader and more prolonged the board, the higher is its area, which is responsible for stability while performing the asanas.
If the water area where you wish to practice is cold, then you should choose a board with high sides, which is at least 6 inches thick.
Unique boards for SUP yoga have several fundamental differences from traditional paddleboards. The most obvious difference is the smooth surface of the board. The yoga mat on the SUP is located not only under the rider’s feet but on the entire board. The SUP carrying handle in yoga boards is flat and does not interfere or migrates from the center of the board to a tail and is usually attached with a paddle holder – a paddle mount. Moving around such a board is convenient and safe: the surface of the mat does not slip, and it is always softer than the usual top layer of PVC on the SUP boards.
The width of the board for SUP yoga is the same on the nose and the tail. This increases the working surface and provides additional volume for more excellent stability. It is better to do SUP yoga in calm waters, without wind and current.
Just like rowing for pleasure, SUP yoga does not imply strict rules. The main thing is that you are comfortable and safe. Start gradually with the simplest relaxation exercises:
1. Sit in the center of the board in a comfortable position.
2. Put your hands on your knees.
3. Close your eyes.
4. Sit still for a couple of minutes and try not to think about anything.
5. Watch your breath.
6. Feel how good it is to be here and now.
Clothing for Paddleboard Yoga
What to wear for paddleboard yoga? Wear the clothing in which you feel comfortable because the primary purpose of yoga is the complete freedom of action. You can choose an article of clothing that is loose or elastic, or you can replace it with a regular bikini or swimming trunks. It all depends on how you feel comfortable, what the weather is outside your window, and the place where you plan to perform SUP yoga.
In the heat, it will undoubtedly be most comfortable in a swimsuit. For prolonged meditation in the sun, lycra is the perfect material. Nevertheless, it’s a great idea to keep some change of clothes and towels if you wish to take a dip.
Where to Perform Paddleboard Yoga
A favorite place for yoga on the water is calm ponds with a gradual course or even its absence. You must have seen lovers of yoga performing several asanas on the lakes, in the bays, peaceful rivers, and calm sea. However, you can practice paddleboard yoga not only in natural reservoirs but also in the pool.
Between breathing fresh air, soaking up vitamin D, and enjoying the natural landscape, it beats just about any gym or studio out there.
- Hilary Kimblin, owner of Yoga Under the Trees in Beverley Hills