Paddle boarding is an expanding sport. Every day, more and more people are picking up their boards and going offshore. Paddle boards, more commonly known as stand up boards (SUPs) offer excellent stability to the rider and are very fun for that reason. It is not long after their introduction, then, that the boards can be used in conjunction with other things. Mainly, we’re talking about the evolution of stand up paddle board yoga.
Yoga is a relaxing art that releases tensed muscles and releases negative energy. But imagine how much negative energy can you release on a calm morning on top or a clam water.
What is SUP yoga?
The answer to this question is simple. SUP yoga is just like regular yoga; only it’s done on a SUP board. SUP boards are very wide and buoyant, which makes them very stable. This, in turn, makes them viable for activities such as yoga. Of course, there are differences, but the core and stress relief you get from it are the same.
This form of yoga is a little more challenging, as the board tends to rock on the waves a little. Some poses, like the tree pose, require a wider or somewhat modified stance to be executed without falling into the water. Boards include non-slip grips to help this matter, but still, an overenthusiastic pose may end up in a splash.
Yoga also tightens your muscles and stretches them out. On a rocking platform, however, the exercise can be more challenging. Due to slight movement underneath you, you will struggle for balance, which will lead to you exerting extra force to keep on the board. Just doing a simple plank pose can be a challenge, as the slight rocking forces you to counterbalance and engage your muscles.
Relieves TONS of Stress
As for the stress relief, SUP yoga excels. Being out on a still body of water and practicing this art goes hand in hand. It is especially beautiful when done in the morning or evening when the day is at its most beautiful. The calm of the water and the freshness of the rising sun, or the power and beauty of the setting sun can instill a feeling of tranquility and poise. And, best of all, when you’re done, you can just cool off by jumping in the water. Pretty convenient, right?
Like we said, some poses will be more challenging than others. Still, if you do your best, you’ll be able to recreate most of the poses, and if you fall a few times, at least you’ll fall onto, or, rather, into, something soft. SUP yoga is very beginner friendly and offers great enjoyment.
A Few Easy Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Positions:
Naturally, the best-known yoga pose is the Adho Mukha Svanasana, AKA the Downward-Facing Dog Pose. This pose is good for starting the day, as it stretches your neck, spine, and limbs. On a paddle boat, however, you may need to take a wider stance in order not to fall to your side.
Any sitting pose can be done with relative ease. Poses like Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) are relatively stable, especially when the water is calm. When the water becomes rockier, or if the wind picks up, you might want to use your backhand to hold onto the board to secure your position.
Dhanurasana, better known as the the bow pose, is a balancing pose and can be a little trickier. All such poses require additional strain on your part to keep in check. But this is beneficial, as the extra stress activates your muscles more.
Poses like Ustrasana, or the Camel Pose, require precise placement. That being said, it is important with this pose for you to try and keep your knees and hips over the handle of the board. This is the most stable part of the board, and, hopefully, you won’t fall in.
These are the poses everybody can do. More experienced SUP yogis may even pull off more advanced poses, such as the Tree pose. Naturally, there will be some adjustments, mainly, you might want to keep your foot opened more to create a wider surface area to stand on.
Reasons you Should do your Yoga on a Paddle Board
As I said above, yoga is beneficial in many ways. Everybody can do it, and it’s quite fun too. It has an excellent impact on your health, and you will feel better after each session.
However, this can be said for land yoga as well. So, what’s so special about SUP yoga? Why risk falling in?
Well, yoga is not only viewed as a health exercise. Yoga is also a form of art. The poses aren’t only supposed to be beneficial; they are intended to be artful as well. Doing yoga on a paddle board in the middle of an ocean supports this side of this activity. And besides, what better way is there to find inner peace than on the water? Waves gently rocking back and forth as the sun rises and reflects off the current... Man on man...
As health is concerned, SUP yoga sometimes has a greater effect than land yoga. The core of yoga is to release stress. However, in land yoga, if you practice it long enough, you might move away from the stress releasing, and strive to do every pose perfectly. This, in turn, could lead you to become frustrated, and that’s the exact opposite of what you want to achieve. The addition of cool water and a breeze, plus the constant rocking that doesn’t allow for perfection, brings about another level of calmness in a person.
SUP Yoga is More Engaging
Finally, it engages you more. Due to the constant struggle to find balance, you’ll need to activate your muscles more. Making yoga on the water more engaging than on land, and, thus, more beneficial for your health. Plus, doing balancing poses is incredibly fun and engaging, as you fight the small waves and the wind.
All in all, SUP yoga is something for anyone with a love for water and a love for yoga, or for someone that wants a tougher challenge. If you’ve never tried it, but are into yoga, then most certainly give it a go.
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