Paddle Board Yoga: A Healthy Mix Of Workout & Meditation

For those of you who don’t know, yoga is central to my lifestyle. I started on my yoga journey during my first year of college after I experienced for the first time the deadly mix of horrible roommates and loads of unbearable stress. Admittedly,  I was very hesitant to go to my first class because I was unsure whether I had the flexibility and the mental creativity to get through the class. To my surprise the class was everything I needed and more. I flowed through the movements breath by breath and released the tension, stress, and negativity that was building up. I was hooked and wanted more.

Since then I have gone to yoga classes weekly and have become more daring in my practice. This summer I was looking for something that would enhance my yoga experience and push me to a new limit – and that’s when I stumbled across SUP Yoga.

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(Twin Sister on Left – Me on Right)

SUP Yoga has become my favorite summertime fitness and wellness class. It is a perfect mix of summer fun, fitness, and stress relief!  The boards are really easy to learn to use but here are some fast tips:

  1. To get onto the board mount from the side with your knees first
  2. Scoot your knees on each side of the handle (which is center of the board)
  3. To stand go into down dog and then stand up making sure your feet are shoulder width apart and center with the board handle
  4. Paddle side to side and then you’re off!

Once we get onto our boards we usually warm up by paddling out to the bay. This works our  arms and core, and gets us used to the feeling of being on water. As soon as we anchor the fun begins! Whether you have previous experience doing yoga or if it is your first time, this class is really a one size fits all. Why? Let me explain…

No matter how experienced you are everyone really is in the ‘same boat’. Doing yoga on water is difficult because it forces you to become self aware of how you shift your weight and whether you are comfortable with moving into a new pose or working through a flow.

With that being said SUP Yoga enhances your practice like no other. Many people that I have talked with felt that they were rushing through the yoga flow without really taking in the benefits, listening to their body, or focusing on their breaths. They admitted to me that this was because they wanted to “keep up” with others in their class. In Sup Yoga there is no such thing as keeping up. You become so focused on yourself in a way that is never achieved in a normal yoga class. Your attention is 100% on yourself-the way every yoga class should be but most of us forget this. Other people in the class melt away, so it feels as if it is just you.

What I love most about SUP Yoga is that in a way you are reintroduced to yourself. By this I mean that you get to test your limits in a safe environment (if you do a headstand you fall in water and not a hardwood floor), and you really communicate with yourself. There are moments when I stopped mid flow and asked myself “am I really ready to transition from Warrior I to Downward Dog?”. The SUP Yoga experience is enriching and has helped improve my confidence. Not only does it maintain its stress relieving benefits like a normal class, but it also increases confidence because you are doing things you never thought you would do before! For example I never thought I would do tree pose on a paddle board.

 

I hope that you get a chance to experience a SUP Yoga class and as always let me know what your favorite healthy activity is!

 

Xoxo Caitlyn

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