If you are a fan of water sports, yoga, and are always up for a challenge, then SUP Yoga is the perfect fit for you! In the summer when so many people enjoy going to the lake with family and/or friends, it’s easy to get into a rut where you find yourself doing the same thing every single weekend. For something new and a way to have fun with the people you love the most, give SUP yoga a try.
What exactly is SUP Yoga?
SUP Yoga stands for stand-up paddleboard yoga. It may sound like a confusing sport, but it’s become quite popular as of late! It combines the fun and relaxing exercise of stand-up paddleboarding with the flexibility and balance of yoga. The sport in itself may sound easy or simple but is quite challenging for many, and something that not only beginners can enjoy but that is also geared towards experienced paddleboarders.
Imagine being on a paddleboard and at the same time moving on it - and not just any kind of movement, but moving from popular yoga poses like a downward-facing dog into plank. Sound like it would be difficult? That’s because it is! Stand-up paddleboarding already requires balance and core strength, but doing yoga poses at the same time requires a whole new level of balance!
How is SUP Yoga different from SUP or from yoga?
SUP Yoga versus yoga
Well, stand-up paddleboard yoga is different from yoga in many ways. Yoga is already a balancing act on land, but now do it on the water - and you’re bound to challenge your core a bit more! The board shakes underneath your feet and knees as you move from cat pose into cow pose. Add to this, that you have less surface to move on and you’re in for a treat!
Because of the limitations, not all poses can be easily done the way you would do them on land. This means some modifications are necessary. It also means that you must go slow, in the beginning, to make sure you adjust to the new balancing challenge, as well as try out certain poses to test your comfort level with them on the water.
A crucial tip: Have fun and expect yourself to fall into the water if you are a new fan! If you expect it and don’t strive for perfection, then it’ll be a lot more enjoyable than if you didn’t.
SUP Yoga versus SUP
Stand-up paddleboard yoga is definitely different from regular stand-up paddleboarding. While stand-up paddleboarding is already a full-body sport that also works on balance, stand-up paddleboard yoga ups the ante. Core strength is even more important in this version than in the regular stand-up paddle boarding sport.
SUP only requires you to stand still and mainly move your arms, while SUP yoga requires you to move both arms and legs. It also requires an immense focus that SUP on its own may not require. Because you have to focus so much, it means that it can also be extremely meditative as well as a great opportunity for those who suffer from anxiety to focus on improving their breathing.
What do you need for SUP Yoga?
For SUP yoga you will need a few things:
- A paddleboard: it helps if it’s a bit wider and has some cushion
- A leash: to keep you connected to the board when you fall off (it’s not a matter of if, but when)
- Paddle: the paddle helps you to get to where you want to be
- Whistle: a whistle helps in the case of an emergency to alert others to your presence on the water and is also required by many parks
- PFD (Personal Floatation Device): these are also often required by parks as a safety measure
- Anchor (optional, but extremely helpful for paddleboard yoga): an anchor helps keep your paddleboard in place which is helpful for stability reasons, beginners, as well as if you’re taking a class or want to stay together as a group to do the activity together (otherwise you drift apart)
Generally, SUP yoga doesn’t require more equipment than regular SUP, unless you want to have some additional stability.
How to get started with SUP Yoga
So you’ve come this far in the article and maybe at this point, you’re thinking “This sounds fun! I want to do this too! But where do I start?” That’s a great question, and the process will depend on a few key decisions you must make. Do you want to do this alone? Do you want to do it in a group setting? Do you want to do it with strangers or friends? Do you want to do it via private instruction or a group class?
Here is an example of a step-by-step guide on how to get started:
Step 1: Have all of your equipment together
Step 2: Research lakes that allow for SUP and what their requirements are
Step 3: Get a group of friends together to either take a class or to do it on your own
Step 4: Show up and have fun!
It’s really that simple! The most important factor is that you go into this expecting yourself to stumble, get wet, slip possibly, and enjoy a lot of laughs.
Stand-up paddleboard yoga is a lot of fun and can be a great way to add some variety to your workout routine. When going paddleboarding though, it’s so incredibly important to have the right board, and with stand-up paddleboard yoga that’s even more so the case. The cushioning in the board allows for padding for the knees, making it more comfortable and a wider board makes it easier to move.
That’s why finding a good board and brand is crucial. Surf Star Co is known for its impeccable quality in paddleboards and takes foam/comfort for example into consideration, as well as the ease to bring it along with you to a lake with friends. You can trust Surf Star Co to have your back when it comes to stand-up paddleboard yoga-friendly boards. For any questions you have, we can answer you within 1 business day.