Getting Started with SUP Yoga
You are not alone if you are confused as to why someone would want to practice yoga on a shaky surface such as a stand-up paddle board. As a matter of fact, some of those stances are already difficult to maintain on solid ground, so why take them to the water?
Doing yoga while paddling is a common question, but as you'll discover when you give it a go, it's not as difficult as it appears and it even offers a ton of advantages that land-based training does not. Incorporating SUP yoga into your workout routine can be a wonderful way to enjoy nature while also refreshing your training practice. If you've never experienced this before, a SUP yoga class is a terrific place to start! It's a good idea to have some prior experience with either SUP or yoga before attempting SUP yoga, but you don't necessarily need to be an expert in both.
What Are the Benefits of SUP Yoga?
Both stand-up paddle boarding and SUP yoga have numerous health benefits. Incorporating paddle boarding and SUP yoga into your workout routine will result in a much more effective workout. Stand-up paddle boarding is a total-body workout that targets the back, shoulders, core, arms, and legs. A great fitness challenge would be to paddle board for a while, then do a 15-minute yoga sequence. Aside from having fun with family and friends or enjoying some peace and quiet on the water, here are a few more upsides to SUP Yoga:
- It strengthens new muscle groups.
- It helps relieve stress.
- It enhances breathing techniques.
- It improves flexibility and balance.
- It gets you out of the house!
SUP Yoga Classes
There are SUP Yoga sessions that take place on a weekly basis depending on where you reside, as well as the the time of year. Classes often begin with a brief paddle to get the blood flowing. Afterwards, the yoga instructor will find a peaceful area and begin the lesson with concentrated breathing, sun salutations, and some basic paddle board yoga positions. A typical hour-long SUP yoga class will also include some basic fitness exercises like planks and lunges, as well as a variety of yoga positions for all levels of participants.
SUP yoga classes are a great way to practice yoga on a paddle board. It is also something you can do whenever you want, by yourself or with a group of friends. However, in a class, you meet new people, challenge yourself, and are more likely to stick with it. The fact that you're not the only one who has slipped and fallen in the water will also make you feel more at ease.
How Do You Get Ready for a SUP Yoga Class?
Make sure you register ahead of time for the class. Boards are limited, and usually sell out quickly. Remember, it's not necessary to learn how to stand-up paddle before trying SUP yoga. Yoga and stand-up paddleboarding are both open to anyone with no prior experience. All you have to do is:
Wear weather-appropriate yoga clothing that dries quickly and affordable sunglasses. Also bring a change of clothes, as there is a tendency to get wet. Paddling essentials include a paddle, a hat, and a dry bag.
There are a few SUP yoga-specific boards on the market, but practically any wide, sturdy board with a flat deck would suffice. This will make it easier to hold positions. You can use any SUP paddle as long as it's the right size for you. Set the paddle towards the nose of your board perpendicular to the board while practicing yoga. Alternatively, if you're using a coil leash, you can simply let the leash float behind you as you paddle.
Have a leash: A leash, which is typically purchased separately, secures your SUP to your body in the event of a fall. Once you've anchored your board, remove the leash from your leg so that you may concentrate on your yoga practice. It's a good idea to keep the leash attached to your board if you don't intend to anchor it. You must also wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times when on the water.
While anchoring your board is not required, some SUP yogis find it distracting to float around on their boards while practicing. In addition, if you're performing yoga in a group, being anchored might help keep the group together.
What Should You Expect from a SUP Yoga Class?
Although each teacher has their own unique style, here's a general guideline of how it usually works. Arrive early to ensure that you can find the venue, park, check in, and be ready for class when it begins. You will be given a board and paddle by your instructor, and you will be taught the fundamentals of stand-up paddling. Your party will then paddle over to where the class will be held. Most instructors will secure your board so that your group stays together even if you wobble with the waves. You don't have to be concerned about floating away.
In order to adapt your practice to your environment, your teacher will lead you through a series of exercises that are tailored to your specific needs. The experience then comes to a close with a deeply relaxing and rejuvenating yoga asana. You feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and the water flowing around your board as you enjoy a day on the water.
How to Find Sup Classes Around You
Use Google and social media to your advantage—Go on Facebook, or any other social media platform, and search for "SUP yoga classes (enter location)" and you'll be surprised at what pops up. It's possible to find free or low-cost SUP yoga classes through various paddleboarding-related communities.
Inquire at a local SUP rental shop if there are any local SUP yoga instructors. SUP yoga is getting increasingly popular, so you don't have to worry about getting any strange looks for practicing it. And if you find a session taking place along the water's edge, don't be afraid to approach and ask for more information.
There are also a few gyms with an indoor pool that provide year-round SUP yoga classes for those who don't have access to a huge body of water.
Finally, don't forget to ask your friends and co-workers, especially those who are into water sports, for help; they'll be able to point you in the proper direction.
If you can't seem to find a SUP yoga class that interests you, find a friend who's also interested and start your own—there's nothing holding you back. Floating yoga is a great way to get some exercise, enjoy the water, unwind, and meet new people all at the same time. You can do it, so go for it!
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