SUP Yoga – The Way to Enlightenment (and Great Workout!)

These asanas are carried out on the paddle board out on open water, and by practising Yoga on a SUP, it can reinvigorate you and push you to become an even better practitioner of yoga (yogi) than you thought possible – all while breathing in fresh air, taking in the sunshine and enjoying the natural splendor of floating on water.

What makes SUP yoga more intense than doing it in a studio is the fact that the constant motion of the water fires up your core muscle groups – this can’t be done practising yoga on land. You want a strong sense of balance and posture – for instance, during downward dog, if you have more weight on one side, your board will let you know and you’ll more than likely end up in the water!

With SUP yoga, it’s all about working the midsection. The power necessary to balance on the board and generate power and movement while paddling stems from these core muscles – from the deep transverse abdominis to the rectus abdominis and obliques. Including yoga asanas further helps you to test your stability, and builds both strength and flexibility through your entire body.

The best stand up paddling board for SUP yoga should be wide enough to be able to keep balance whilst you practise your asanas. Thirty one inches (31″) is a great width to look at.

Most paddle board lengths will suffice, but something over ten ft (10′) will provide you with extra buoyancy in the water. For a rigid paddle board, The Greco 11ft Stand Up Paddle Board is a great place to start.

Inflatable SUPs are also very great for practising SUP yoga. Because they have a softer surface area, they can be more comfortable for laying down on, but still be sturdy enough to hold you through all yoga poses. The Tower Xplorer Inflatable paddle board or Isle 10ft Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board are both definitely worth having a look if an inflatable SUP is what you’re after.

If you would like try it on your own, start with a few seated asanas, as they will give you a feel for the paddle board without having to try and maintain your balance too. This will also enable you to feel the motion of the water under your paddle board. Don’t forget to take deep, mindful breaths (from your diaphragm). Once you are feeling more comfortable with these, move to some standing asanas. The Mountain Pose is amongst the easiest standing asanas to move into.

Something to be ready for is a few falls, as it can be a strange sensation to feel the board moving underneath you when trying to stand. Do not worry about this, as just about everyone who starts SUP yoga for the first time ends up in the water! After a while though, you’ll get a feel for the board. Remember: the movement of the board whilst you practise yoga is what makes it so effective.

If you’ve never attempted stand up paddle boarding before, it will be advisable to take a beginner SUP class to gain more experience in the correct paddling technique and stance. Additionally, if you have never tried yoga before, it would be worth taking a class or two to get a feel for the asanas, prior to trying them on a paddle board.

Yoga roughly means “Union”, and SUP yoga undeniably brings together your mind, body, and the outdoor conditions in a comprehensive, but soothing, workout.


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