Has your yoga routine become boring and mundane? Or perhaps you have been looking for a way to step your routine up a notch. If so, then you might want to consider paddleboard yoga.
Paddleboard yoga, also referred to as SUP yoga, adds a whole new depth to core strength training, requires an intense focus and unwavering concentration, and takes the practice of yoga to an entirely new intensity level.
Origins of Paddleboard Yoga
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years in India and other parts of the world. Paddleboard surfing originated in Hawaii. Joined together, the two create a unique sport that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.
The paddleboard provides an excellent “mat” on which to perform yoga. It provides an excellent non-skid surface even in water. It really was just a matter of time before yoga practitioners discovered this new platform on which to practice their poses.
Paddleboard yoga, a combination of stand-up paddle (SUP) surfing and yoga, gives the body a vigorous core workout. Experienced veterans performing yoga postures or poses may make paddleboard yoga look easy but newcomers to this challenging sport say the extra effort required to remain balanced on the paddleboard is more taxing and intense than a session at the gym.
Water is not required as one begins to learn this unique sport. Newcomers to the sport can begin their practice on dry land, and then advance to a swimming pool in order to gain the flexibility, balance and strength needed to remain atop the board on rougher waters such as a lake or the ocean.
To learn the art of paddleboard yoga, begin by standing on a surfboard or a stand-up paddleboard that is placed on dry land. Sand works especially well in the training process because it provides a bit of movement that challenges the practitioner to maintain balance and form, preparing them for the movement that occurs in larger bodies of water.
Once dry land is mastered, the practitioner can advance to the swimming pool or directly into a larger body of water such as a lake or the ocean.
How to Begin Paddleboard Yoga
If you want to try paddleboard yoga, begin in calmer waters – a swimming pool works well for this. If you are unfamiliar with stand-up paddleboarding, begin by experimenting with the placement of your feet, playing around with weight distribution and how it feels to stand on the paddleboard. Next, shift your weight from foot to foot causing the paddleboard to gently rock back and forth. Be patient with yourself as you acclimate yourself to what it takes to stand on the board and maintain your balance.
You will eventually find the “sweet spot” – the best place for you to stand and maintain your balance while on the board. Once you are comfortable and have found your sweet spot, begin moving along the length of the board towards the nose and towards the back.
Once you are comfortable with these movements, you are ready to start with some of the easier poses – those that require sitting and kneeling. Next advance to some of the symmetrical poses such as camel pose, downward dog, plank, etc.
If doing the routines on water is too difficult, the moves can first be practiced on dry land as mentioned earlier.
Check out the video below to see what an actual paddleboard yoga session looks like.
Paddleboard Yoga: Ready, Set, Go!
What is the proper clothing to wear for paddleboard yoga? You may choose to wear a bathing suit, lycra shorts, lycra shirt and/or board shorts.
Other items you might need could include: sunscreen, hat, aqua shoes, towel, snacks and fluids.
Paddleboard yoga is a great way to energize and transform your normal yoga session. Adding the element of water intensifies the core stability required to successfully accomplish each pose.
Paddleboard yoga is yet another great way to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. Remember – have a good time, be imaginative, and don’t be afraid of getting wet!
Sources: Stand Up Paddle Yoga