Category Archives: Yoga

10 Reasons Why You Should Try SUP Yoga

10 reasons why you should try SUP Yoga. happyfitmama.com

Last week when I tried my first Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga class, I wasn’t lying when I said I was obsessed. I’ve been researching boards to find just the right one for all my needs and one that won’t break the bank. Yesterday I took my second class. And it fueled the obsession even more. I’m riding the marvelous of it all into Monday.

Since I took my first class, I’ve been raving about it to everyone. The initial reaction I get is usually “That’s so cool!” Followed by “I could never do that! I can’t do yoga on dry ground. Thanks but no thanks!”

That’s so not true! It’s easier and more fun that you could ever imagine. If you are on the fence about trying it, I encourage you to get out there and try something new. You won’t regret it!

Here are 10 reasons why you should try SUP Yoga this summer:

It’s for everyBODY – Just like any yoga class, SUP Yoga is for every single person out there. There’s no age limit. There’s no size limit.

SUP Yoga Koan Wellness 2

Photo courtesy of Koan Wellness.

Zen out – Have you ever sat on a dock and listened to the sound of the water gently lapping against it? That’s all you’ll hear while on your board. It’s the most peaceful sound you’ll ever hear. Go ahead, let your zen flow like wild.

Find balance – SUP Yoga is all about balance. It helps you work on moving from your core and can identify your weaknesses when it comes to balance. To maintain balance, you need to engage your core stabilizer muscles as you try to root down on an unstable surface. SUP tip: Center your belly button over the center carrying handle for better balance.

Challenge your practice – If you have found yourself in a yoga rut, SUP yoga offers a new challenge. If you can float effortlessly into advanced poses like arm balances and inversions on your mat, doing so on a SUP will make you appreciate all the strength and stability that goes into poses like that. I was shocked to find that Side Plank was so tough compared to on land. And it was no big deal to get up into Wheel.

SUP Yoga Wheel Pose | happyfitmama.com

Photo courtesy of Sup Yo.

Slow down – How many times do you find yourself hurrying through a vinyasa? Are you really linking breath and movement or are you going through the motions? On a SUP, you are forced to slow down the pace and the flow.

Every class is different – With practicing on the water, you will never know what will come your way. It may be windy and the water choppy. Or it may be calm with the water as smooth as glass. Each condition changes the tone of the class.

Enjoy nature – I love yoga in a studio but being surrounded by four walls when the weather is beautiful outside makes me want to skip class all together. Here in New Hampshire, we have a limited amount of warm weather. I want to soak it in as much as possible. And what better way than having the sky above me, water below and the wind blowing through my finger tips?

SUPYoga Koan Wellness

Change your perspective – The world looks like a different place when you are in down dog looking through your spread feet out at the water, the trees, the horizon and the sky behind you. Or when you are in a Seated Forward Fold. It’s like you are one with the water.

It’s empowering – When you let go of the fear, it’s hard not to feel like a bad ass as you flow through the class. If the class is in a popular area, you’ll most likely have on lookers watching in awe. Even if you feel like the least graceful person out there, you’ll look like a pro to those on shore.

SUPYO6

It’s FUN! – Trust me, it really is so much fun. There’s laughter involved as each person tries to find their balance. And sometimes fall in. That’s part of letting go of fear and trying something new. But really, what’s the worst that could happen if you fall in? You get a dip in the cool, refreshing water. And a good laugh.

If you have any body of water near you, I can almost guarantee there’s a SUP Yoga class. Give it a try and you’ll soon be like water and go with the flow.

Have I convinced you to try SUP Yoga yet?

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My First SUP Yoga Class

Take your yoga practice to a new level with SUP Yoga. | happyfitmama.com

Be like water. Go with the flow.

Remember a few weeks ago when I said I was in a yoga rut?

Well, I think I found my way out of it.

This past weekend I took my yoga practice out of the studio and into nature.

It was the best thing ever.

On Friday I decided to spontaneously sign up for a Sunset Yoga Hike through Bending Bodhi Yoga. It was a wicked hot and humid day but the evening was promising for a gorgeous sunset. What better way to kick off the weekend with a little hike and short yoga session looking over this beautiful world we live in?

Sunset Yoga Hike | happyfitmama.com

I want to end every day doing that!

On Sunday I attended my first SUP yoga class.

Not to spoil it but I’m kind of obsessed and want to do it every.single.day.

Being on a SUP wasn’t anything new to me. I’ve gone a few times before and have absolutely loved it. Ever since Hawaii Ron and I both have wanted to get boards. And Ron won’t let me forget that he did headstand on his board. Show off.

SUP headstand | happyfitmama.com

We had grand visions of our kids riding on the front of the boards just like all the kids do in Hawaii. Of course our kids would do that, right? But then we got home and realized that it sounded like a much better idea in our heads than in real life. Although now the idea is back in my head!

I signed up for the class through Bending Bodhi Yoga. They contracted Jana from SUP YO to do the class. Btw – what an awesome name for a company, right?

We started off with Jana giving us the details of how to get on the paddle board and how to use the paddle. We then paddled out into the harbor and after being told how to drop our anchors, set up a pod together before starting our yoga practice.

FYI – All photos from the practice are courtesy of SUP YO. SUP Yoga Balance | happyfitmama.com

Jana led about 65 minute yoga flow. We did up dog, down dog, warrior I and II, reverse warrior, sun salutations, bridge and other basic poses.

SUP Yoga Low Lunge | happyfitmama.com

The practice was slow and gentle because HELLO we are also trying to balance on the board. I was shocked to find that side plank was the hardest pose to hold. It was the only real time that I felt a sense of feeling like “OH NO I’M GOING IN!” Keeping one knee on the board was all I could muster. And there was no way I was getting my knee off the board!

SUP Yoga Reverse Plank | happyfitmama.com

I attempted crow and succeeded in getting my toes up for 2.2 seconds before face planting on the board. A few of the girls popped out headstand, which was so cool. I got one leg up and was too chicken to even try to put the other one up!

SUP Yoga Crow Pose | happyfitmama.com

So did I fall in? Surprisingly, no. A couple of the girls did and were able to pop back up on the board with no problems.

SUP Yoga Shoulder Stand | happyfitmama.com

I love yoga and how it makes me feel. But practicing yoga on a board in the ocean (or water in general) is simply marvelous.

The sound of lapping water and the gentle rocking motion of the waves. The warmth of the sun warming your skin. The gentle breeze cooling you off. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

SUP Yoga Wheel Pose | happyfitmama.com

We finished class and I could not stop smiling from ear to ear afterwards. I wanted to spend the whole day on the board enjoying the calmness of it all. I came home and promptly told Ron that I need a SUP board of my own. I see a whole lot of SUP Yoga in my future for the rest of the summer.

Fresh air and vitamin sea always does a body good. And it does wonders for a yoga practice too!

Have you done SUP Yoga?

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My Favorite Instagrammers

Find inspiration in running, yoga, fitness and food with My 10 Favorite Instagrammers. happyfitmama.com

It’s no secret that my fav form of social media is Instagram. Pretty pictures. Inspiring people. Yummy food. Cute animals. It’s got it all!

The majority of Instagrammers that I follow are runners. But I also like to mix it up with yogi’s, foodies, Cross Fit enthusiasts, animal lovers and anything else that strikes my fancy.

If you are looking for running, yoga or food inspiration this is for you. Just right click on the pic to take you to these fabulous Instagrammers accounts and follow away!

MtnRunr
Maybe because I’ve found a love for trails and wish I could run on them more, but trail and ultra runners have taken over my Insta feed. The beauty of mountains, lakes, dirt…it’s all I want to see!

Crazy Mother Runners
Maybe because I want to be BFF’s with all of these ladies. I need to find my own pack of crazy mother runners to have a picnic with on a rock.

CYU888
I love Christine’s writing but her pics – Amazingly beautiful. She inspires me to post better yoga pics. And her latest trip to Banff – my need to go back there has grown!

SisuGirls
Grit. Determination. That’s what the Finnish word, sisu, roughly translates to. Where I grew up in Michigan, there is a strong presence of Finnish descendants. In fact, Ron is Finnish, too. When I found this Insta account, I immediately loved it. The world needs more Sisu Girls!

Runners Love Yoga
Ann does monthly yoga Insta challenges that specifically target runners. Not only is she a serious competitive runner, she’s got her Ph.D in English.

Stop, drop, and yoga #postrun. (For real! You'll feel a little better!) #RunnersLoveYoga #doyogarunfaster

A photo posted by Ann M. (@runnersloveyoga) on

TallensJourney
I’m no triathlete but I love following Tonya’s Insta. Bright, colorful and just plain fun!

FitFoodieFinds
A little fitness and a whole lot of yummy, better for you food. I’d like to face plant in all of Lee’s food pics.

If I could just eat this the rest of my life…Banana Soft Serve + Protein PB Cups = <3 #comingsoon

A photo posted by Lee Hersh (@fitfoodiefinds) on

larisa_elaine
This former NH Runner headed west and really makes me want to do the same thing. Her trail pics are amazing. And she’s a pretty rad runner too.

Let yourself by silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.

A photo posted by Larisa Elaine Dannis (@larisa_elaine) on

Shannon Dempsey
You can always count on Shannon to be #runmatchy for every run. I mean, how cute is that outfit?!?!

Round The World Girl

Beautiful travel pictures that make me want to go everywhere in this big wide world.

Breakfast in bed. Fueled by @powerbar #powerbar #proteinshake #sp

A photo posted by Elise 🚁 (@roundtheworldgirl) on

And don’t forget to follow me! :)

Btw – High 5 to Amanda (an awesome Instagrammer herself!) for reminding me that I had never posted anything about my favorite Instagrammers before. Thanks girl!

Who are your favorite Instagrammers?

Leave your Instagram handle in the comments so we can follow you!

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