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.
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.
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?
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.
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?