SUP Yoga: Challenge Your Balance
We recently had a chance to try a stand up paddleboard-based yoga class. The combination of paddling, challenging our balance, and wildlife watching made for a perfectly active afternoon on the water. For paddling enthusiasts looking for a unique experience, SUP yoga offers a fun opportunity to increase your overall fitness in ways that will also support your efficiency and strength as a paddler.
A typical SUP Yoga session begins with a paddle out to calm waters, often in a lagoon or an area sheltered by mangroves. There, paddlers anchor their boards to begin a yoga practice that is specifically designed to be enjoyed on the water. The flow starts with a series of seated poses to stretch the muscles and prepare the body for more strenuous movement. You will enjoy the sounds of the water slapping against your board, and if you’re like us, you will be amazed at how difficult even the simplest pose can be when there are waves passing under you.
Next, your instructor will lead you through the more active poses, seriously challenging your balance and focus. A good teacher will offer plenty of options to suit both beginners and more advanced students. Everyone will fall, and everyone will laugh. A sense of humor might actually be the most important thing to bring to a SUP Yoga class, along with the knowledge that you will eventually end up in shavasana, which is heavenly on a paddleboard.
No matter what your experience level, you will strengthen your core muscles, improve your balance, and enjoy your surroundings. There is something very peaceful about moving your body in nature, adjusting to the flow of the water. From mountain lakes to tropical estuaries, SUP Yoga classes are available in beautiful locations around the world. We recommend using TripAdvisor or Google to search for well-reviewed options near you. Namaste, paddlers!
Ocean Tribe Paddlers is a club hosted by Sanibel Sea School that helps the SWFL paddling community better explore, enjoy, and understand the ocean. Visit oceantribepaddlers.org or follow us on Facebook to learn more.